Opposition Cong terms Punjab Budget 'directionless'

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Chandigarh, Mar 19 (UNI) The Opposition Congress described the Punjab Budget as 'directionless' which had nothing to offer either to the people of the state or to the ''states economy as a whole''.

Initiating the debate on the Budget in the state assembly today, Lal Singh (Cong) said it was a 'hollow document' which offered no solution for pulling out the states economy out of the red. Steps for encouraging entrepreneurs to invest in Punjab have not found any mention in the Budget, he added.

Mr Lal Singh, who was Finance Minister for sometime during the previous Congress rule, said the Budget was a mere jugglery of figures and statistics. The SAD-BJP government saw in the model code of conduct for the Panchayat polls a very convenient excuse to refrain from giving relief to different sections of society, he added.

One year has passed, the government has not yet announced its industrial policy nor has it taken steps to invite investments, he claimed. Whatever projects the government intiated in one year were those that were cleared by the previous Congress government, he further claimed.

Taking a dig at the government's stand on the Rs 60,000 crore farm loan waiver scheme, Mr Lal Singh said the SAD-BJP instead of appreciating this scheme had only heaped criticism. He called upon the state government to move a step further and announce a waiver of the non-institutionalised loans of farmers on the lines of the central waiver.

The member sought to remind that ruling party benches that it was the UPA government which had announced an all time hike in the MSP of wheat and paddy. During NDA rule the hike had been very minimal, he added while refering to statistics.

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