SAD asks Speaker to extend budget session to 21 working days

(Demands special discussion on farm suicides, promises made to youth, violence against women teachers, breakdown of law and order and withholding of DA installments of Rs 4,000 crore of State employees)

Chandigarh, February 11 – The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) today asked Vidhan Sabha Speaker Rana K P Singh to hold a three week operative budget session so that burning issues of the State including unprecedented increase in farmer suicides, failure to implement ghar ghar yojna, discrimination against Dalits, manhandling of women teachers, not releasing DA to State employees and increased tax burden on people could be discussed threadbare in the interest of public welfare.

A SAD delegation including former ministers Bikram Singh Majithia, Dr Daljit Singh Cheema and former chief parliamentary secretary N K Sharma met the Speaker in this regard and submitted a letter demanding the present seven day budget session be extended to 21 operative days. It requested the Speaker to ensure the Congress party did not ride roughshod over the aspirations of the common man and ensure all public issues were allowed to the raised in the forthcoming budget session.

Briefing newsmen about the meeting, Mr Bikram Majithia said farm suicides had reached the 800 figure and that this issue should be discussed as the victim families were also not getting the promised Rs 10 lakh compensation and government job as promised to them. He said farmers across the State were feeling betrayed as the Congress party had failed to implement the Rs 90,000 crore complete loan waiver. “Misleading figures of crop loan waiver are being issued by the government. If farmers were benefitting from this scheme the suicides would stop and not go up”, he said adding even the poster boy of the Congress farm loan waiver scheme – Budh Singh had also been betrayed by the government”.

The SAD delegation also demanded an urgent discussion on the violence unleashed on women teachers who were holding a peaceful protest yesterday at Patiala. Mr Majithia demanded immediate registration of criminal cases against police officials responsible for this, adding no elected government could behave in such a manner with teachers who had been entrusted with the responsibility of moulding future generations.

Mr Majtihia said the youth wanted to know why the Congress government was not fulfilling the ‘ghar ghar naukari’ promise made to them. He said youth had also been promised an unemployment allowance of Rs 2,500 per month besides smartphones. He said Dalits were not being extended social welfare benefits.

Mr Majithia said a detailed discussion was also required on the oppression unleashed on the common man during elections to Local Bodies and panchayats. He said  corruption unleashed by Congress legislators including creation of sand and liquor mafias and complete breakdown of the law and order machinery witnessed by large scale robberies, dacoities and targeted killings also need to be discussed on the floor of the house.

Former minister Parminder Dhindsa briefed how the Congress government had tried to befool employees by announcing approval of one DA installment which was already due even while it kept silent on release of arrears of Rs 4,000 crore of four DA installments. He said unreasonable taxes were being imposed on the common man with 20 to 25 per cent hike in power tariff charges, water charges and increase in stamp duty. He said even industrialists have been betrayed by the Congress government with the government not honouring its pledge to provide them power at a landing cost of Rs five per unit.

The SAD delegation noted that Punjab was suffering on all parameters.  It said Health and education facilities were in a mess. It noted social welfare scheme were not being implemented and the government was even proposing to privatise rural healthcare services. It said even crop damage compensation was not being paid to farmers. It said investment into the State had become zero with investor confidence coming down to an all time low. “Even the ordinary youth has no faith in the government and is shunning the so called job fairs which have also turned out to be a big scam”, Mr Dhindsa noted.

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