The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) today said the Congress government seemed hell bent on wreaking the farm economy of Punjab by imposing fresh taxes; saying imposition of abiyana (canal water user charges) after failing to implement the Rs 90,000 crore farm loan waiver promise was like sprinking salt on the wounds of the farming community.In a statement here, former minister and party spokesman Dr Daljit Singh Cheema said it was unimaginable that a government which was in a severe crisis with 250 farmers committing suicide during its six month tenure would even think of imposing fresh taxes on farmers. “But the government is doing just this. It has decided to imposed abiyana knowing well that this will raise input costs of farmers and will lead to further stress in the farm economy”, he added.
Stating that these steps were reflective of the callous attitude of the Congress government which was even working against the interest of farmers, the Akali leader asked the Congress government to explain why it had taken this anti-people step. He said earlier the government had decided to levy power bill on all new agricultural connections besides increasing rural development cess and market fee on basmati, cotton and vegetables.The Akali leader said the SAD would expose the anti-farmer and anti-people attitude of the government in the Gurdaspur by-poll campaign. “We will take this government to task for not doing anything for people welfare, including its inability to even disburse old age pension and aata-daal besides withdrawing other welfare measures initiated by the erstwhile Akali-BJP government”, he added.