Badal favours opening Punjab border with Pak for trade

Parkash Singh Badal
Muktsar (Pb), Apr 8: Opening borders of Punjab with Pakistan for trade would provide impetus to the economy of the state, and will be a "major boon" for the farmers, Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal today said.

"Punjab being a land locked state had been a victim of the wrong policies of the successive Congress government at the Centre, who have virtually ignored economic development of the state," Badal said.

He was talking to the newsmen here on the fourth day of his thanks giving tour of the Lambi Assembly segment. "If the borders of the state were opened for cross border trade with Pakistan then it would prove to be a major boon for the farmers of the state, who were on verge of economic disaster due to the exorbitant hike by the current Union government in the agricultural inputs," he said.

He said that the SAD-BJP government has been regularly pursuing the Union government to open the Hussainiwala and Attari borders for trade with Pakistan, but all of their efforts have proved futile.

The Chief Minister said that opening of trade from the state would open new avenues for the traders and farmers of Punjab, as through Pakistan they could be able to establish trade links with the other countries of Arab world, where the demand of things produced in the state was very high. Badal said that the Union government must ensure that while exporting agricultural commodities to Pakistan it should give preference to Punjab, which was the food bowl of the country.

"Punjabis have a lot of expectations from the current historic visit of Zardari to the country, so the Government of India must take the initiative for safeguarding the economic interests of the state," added Badal.

Replying to another query regarding the criticism of the state government by the Congress party on the appointment of 21 Chief Parliamentary Secretaries (CPS) in the state, the Chief Minister said that it was in the interest of the state as it would give adequate representation to all the communities and areas of Punjab. He said that the CPS would also play a vital role in the development of the state as along with the officers they would also provide imperative feed back to the state government from grass root level.


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