Ludhiana, September 12, 2012: Former Punjab Minister Balramji Dass Tandon has strongly opposed free power being supplied to the farmers across Punjab.
Addressing a joint conclave of trade and industry organised by Ludhiana District Unit of Punjab Pradesh Beopar Mandal here today, he added on one side the state government was trying to enhance its revenue collection after finding even small to small resource and on the other side it was spending about Rs. 6,000 crore on providing free electricity to the farmers.
Adding, Tandon said the state government should stop giving free power to the farmers. In place of that, said Tandon, the state government should start giving cash subsidy to small farmers. He added that a proper criteria be adopted for giving cash subsidy to the farmers.
Regarding the “e-TRIP” system introduced by the state government with effect from august 10 this year, he said they stood by the traders’ community. It may be mentioned here that Tandon is a Member of the state committee of BJP. The BJP’s state core committee has already opposed e-TRIP system.
“I have heard all your problems and grievances, and I have understood them”, said Tandon, adding they had to fight for them. He further said a common man had to stood up for letting the government to accede to people’s demands.
Tendon categorically said that if the state government collected taxes from one section and gave facilities to another section, it ultimately hamper development of the state.
Expressing his views, Avinash Rai Khanna, BJP MP, said the traders and the industrialists had to fight on three fronts for getting their demands accepted at the government end. He added the trade and industry had to fight politically and legally besides following the path of agitation. He asked the trade and industry to fight for their cause, they were with them.
Khanna said nobody could call the traders as “chor” (thief). He said if the state government wanted to further enhance its revenue collection then it should identify fresh tax payers. Rather, he opined that the government should appreciate the higher tax payer traders and industrialists.
Among others, former BJP state president Prof. Rajinder Bhandari, Punjab Pradesh Beopar Mandal state general secretary Sunil Mehra, district general secretary Mohinder Aggarwal and former Ludhiana Improvement Trust chairmen MM Vyas and Ashok Juneja and Apex Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Punjab) president PD Sharma spoke on the occasion.