Economic crisis affecting Punjab: Badal

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Patiala, Nov 28 (UNI) Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal today admitted that state's ecomony was affected and many ambitious projects had received a setback with the response of major companies turning lukewarm due to the global economic slowdown. Talking to mediapersons at Rakhra near here, he also admitted that due to global meltdown, Vendantta Power Company has reduced its investment in thermal power project which has been allotted to them at Banawali in Mansa district.

He also confirmed that only one company, Lanco Infratech, had remained for development of a 1,320 MW coal-based power plant at Rajpura in Punjab, though there were five-six others, including Reliance Power, Tata Power, Essar and Sterlite, in the fray in the earlier stages.

The Rs 7,000-crore project is to be executed on a Build, Own and Operate model for the Punjab State Electricity Board and the matter was referred to PSERC.

He, however, refused to comment on the enquiries regarding the unbundling of Punjab State electricity Board as time limit given by Power Ministry will expire on November 30.

The Chief Minister was also non-committal on releasing the instalment of Dearness Allowance to Punjab government employees and said that he would look into the matter.

He, however, asserted that despite all odds, Punjab government was fully committed to the overall development of the state.

''It is a temporary phase and we will overcome it very soon,'' Mr Badal, adding that he had directed the chief secretary to initiate steps like ''one officer one car'' among others to curb expenditure.

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