Punjab interests in river waters dispute not allowed to be harmed
Chandigarh, July 16, 2017: Punjab Rural development and Panchayats Minister Tript Rajinder Singh Bajwa today asserted that not only every promise made to the people in the state during the election campaign would be kept despite the financial crisis, all objectives set by Capt Amarinder Singh government would be fully achieved.
During interview with a TV channel here today, he said resources would be mobilised from additional devolution under the GST regime, plugging of tax leakage and creation of additional resources. He admitted that the state government was facing problems due to mismanagement during two terms of previous Akali Dal-BJP government resulting in debt burden of more than Rs 2 lakh crore but the crisis would be successfully contained under the leadership of Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh.
Replying to a question, he said the Amarinder government had already provided relief to about 10 lakh farming families by waiving debt of Rs 2 lakh each. Now it was an issue between the state government and the banks. The state government would amend the legislation to deal with the debt from commission agents and ensure capping of interest rate of such loans at 11 per cent. Moreover, total interest to be paid by the farmer in no case would be more that the principal amount.
Mr. Bajwa made it categorically clear that interests of Punjab in the river waters dispute would not be allowed to be harmed adding the only leader who had defended these interests was Capt Amarinder Singh. Punjab would not allow additional waters to flow out of state as there was not even a drop to spare.
He claimed substantial improvement in the law and order situation after the regime change. Gangsters were fleeing from Punjab while the cases of desecration of religious shrines had gone down.
Replying to a question about the Gurdaspur Lok Sabha by-poll, he said the Congress would register victory with a massive margin. The Aam Aadmi Party lacked support in that area and the people had not forgotten over the excesses committed by the previous rulers. The Congress was fully prepared to untidily enter the poll arena under the leadership of Capt Amarinder Singh and state party Chief Sunil Jakhar.
Mr. Bajwa claimed the Amarinder government had successfully confronted the drug menace and most of the smugglers had either withdrawn themselves or left Punjab. The supply line had been disrupted. Police were making every effort to nab these smugglers, including those who had taken shelter in other states.
He listed as priorities of his department that include vacating encroachment on shamlat lands in the villages, ensuring transparent auction of shamlat lands to increase income of panchayats, productive use of village ponds and conducting elections to the panchayat bodies on time and in a free and fair manner.
He said similarly, his government would ensure provision of potable drinking water and toilet to every household. Immediate repair of RO systems had been ordered while setting up new systems in villages not covered, he added.