Taking serious note of the remarks made by the Punjab & Haryana High Court against state government for creating ‘financial mess’ in Punjab, Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) today said that due to the mis-governance of Akalis, state is heading towards “bankruptcy”Spokesman of the AAP, Sukhpal Singh Khaira said while the need of the hour was to adopt stern austerity measures to improve the fiscal health of the state, Badals are busy doling out money to woo back people, who have already decided to throw them out of power in 2017.Khaira said that financial mess in the state is so acute that the Badal Government has failed to even release pension and post-retirement dues without any legal justification for months and years together, leading to a barrage of “cancerous litigation”.Even Justice Rajiv Narain Raina of the Punjab and Haryana high court has asked the state government to stem the rot by resorting to extraordinary measures, the court, in a recently passed order, has reminded Punjab chief secretary that when the “disease is deadly, the cure must be drastic,” Khaira said.
Now, the court has directed the chief secretary to submit a comprehensive affidavit disclosing the ‘curative solutions” after analysing “this epidemic” and finding workable solutions in the state treasuries, Khaira said adding that instead of adopting much needed austerity measures, Badals are giving rank of Minister to every Jack & Jerry to burden the already overburdened state coffer.Describing this situation as “alarming”, the court has directed the state government to draw an action plan to disburse pensions with reasonable time and submit the blueprint so that the court is not “needlessly burdened with stereo type litigation bogging it down” where legal issues are not involved for adjudication, he said.Badals have taken the extraordinary step of mortgaging real estate including widow ashrams, mental hospitals, old district courts, jails and other government offices to raise Rs 2100 core to meet its immediate needs, is an indicator of the ‘bankruptcy’ of the state ex-chequer, Khaira claimed.
The mortgaged properties include Punjab Urban Development Authority (PUDA) building, Mohali, PUDA Enclave Jagraon and Patiala, Jail site property, Jalandhar and Mental hospital, Amritsar, Gandhi Vanita Ashram for widows in Jalandhar, PWD department-Patiala, Old District Courts, Ludhiana etc. The properties have been mortgaged to Punjab National Bank, Canara Bank, Bank of India, Bank of Baroda and Punjab and Sind Bank, Khaira said.With an eye to the upcoming assembly polls, Badal now loves to open his purse strings (which is almost empty) and roll out a spate of sops and welfare schemes to impress voters, Khaira said claiming that Punjab’s total debt is around Rs 1.50 lakh crore at present.It is a known fact that the state government is in dearth of money to even pay salaries to the staff and even the newly employed are being paid very meager amount," Khaira Said. . "Under such poor financial health, how could any government afford the "luxury" to buy fleet of "luxurious" vehicles," he said. Knowing very well that they would be ousted from power early next year, the Akalis’ led government is not keeping any stone unturned to make the state "bankrupt" deliberately, making it difficult for the next government to run the show, Khaira alleged. The state government is not at all serious about the “poor health’ of finance, which could be evident from the fact that recently Badals had placed orders for 14 luxury Land Cruisers car for their convoy of fleet and about 100 Innova cars for MLAs, AAP Spokesman said.