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Badal Justifies Imposition of Cess on Diesel, Hits Out at Congress

Badal justified SAD-BJP government\'s decision to impose cess on diesel and petrol in the state and hit out at main opposition Congress for demanding a white paper on Punjab\'s fiscal health.

Published: 23rd May 2015 06:53 PM  |   Last Updated: 23rd May 2015 06:53 PM   |  A+A-

By PTI

TALWARA: Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal today justified the SAD-BJP government's decision to impose cess on diesel and petrol in the state and hit out at main opposition Congress for demanding a white paper on Punjab's fiscal health.

"It (cess) was must for giving further fillip to the massive ongoing development of the state," Badal said.

The state government was committed for the overall development and welfare of the state due to which levying of this cess was necessitated, the CM said.

Badal also said that soon all the northern states would have uniform tax structure in the region, for which all of them had agreed.

The 87-year-old five-time Chief Minister was reacting to questions that Congress Legislative Party (CLP) leader Sunil Jakhar has demanded a white paper on the state's financial health in the wake of Punjab government's recent decision to impose fresh cess on electricity, petrol and diesel for infrastructure development.

Squarely blaming the successive Congress led regimes at the Centre for putting financial burden on the state, Badal said that the Congress has no moral right to demand a 'white paper' on this matter.

The Chief Minister said that Punjab being a border state has suffered the brunt of partition "but the Congress party had further derailed the state's economy through the sinister move of putting the entire burden of expenditure of the central security forces during the black days of militancy on the state exchequer".

Likewise, he said that "the mass exodus of industry took place from the state after the Congress government gave tax incentives to the neighbouring (hill) states.

"Not only this but the successive Congress governments at the Centre meted out step motherly treatment with the state, which was a major setback for the state's economy.

"It is shameful that the perpetrators of this major damage to Punjab are today blaming us for the mess created by them," he told reporters here.

Replying to another query, the Chief Minister said that in democracy every party has the right to expand its political base so there was nothing wrong if BJP's central leadership was focusing on the state.

He said that the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) has no objection if its alliance partner BJP was holding functions to consolidate its mass base in the state.

Badal said that the SAD-BJP alliance was firm and everlasting as both the alliance partners have full faith and trust in each other.

"Our relations are cordial and smooth because BJP leadership knows it well that only SAD has stood with them during their turbulent times," he added.



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