Punjab Finance Minister Manpreet Singh Badal on Sunday announced several projects for the development of Muktsar, including construction of Railway over Bridge (ROB) on the Jalalabad Road, as well as upgradation of the stadium and the Panjab University Regional Centre.The Minister made the announcements at a press conference after paying tributes, on behalf of Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh, at the Maghi Shaheedi Jor Mela, in remembrance of the 40 Muktas, and after paying obeisance at the Muktsar gurdwara.On the issue of the Akali decision to hold political conference at the Mela, Manpreet said religious functions should be free from politics, as also asserted by the Chief Minister. The Congress had strictly followed the directive of the Akal Takht by not holding any such conference at Fatehgarh Sahib, and now at Muktsar, and all other parties should also do the same instead of trying to take political mileage through such programmes, he added.Taking congizance of the lack of development in the region, Manpreet said that funds for work of ROB on Jalalabad Road, which was pending since its inauguration by the former deputy chief minister some years ago, would be released soon. The government would also soon release funds for repair of the stadium, he said, pointing out that the Muke-e-Minar and the four Yadgari gates were built by Captain Amarinder Singh’s previous government (2002-2007).
On the upgradation of the PU regional centre at Muktsar, he said the state government had sought a report from PU Chandigarh regarding its fiscal deficit and the state would make provisions for the same in the budget.The state government would also provide funds for the purchase of land for development of a park and a solid waste dump in Muktsar, said the Minister, making it clear that development works would not be stalled due to paucity of funds.The people of Punjab had shown their confidence in the Congress, which was trying its best to fulfill their expectations, he said, pointing out that of the 428 points in the poll manifesto, the government had implemented 125, which had no financial implications, in the first go. The previous government had left the treasury empty but the Congress government still managed to initiate farm debt waiver and implemented its promise of power to industry at Rs 5/unit.
Citing the record production of cotton and paddy, Manpreet said this had led to Rs 15000 crore additional financial infusions in the state economy, which the Akalis had destroyed with their lopsided policies. He referred to the Rs. 31000 crore food credit amount taken by the Akalis, who even got loans against future income of Mandi Board and PIDB to fill their own coffers.The Congress government was doing its best to bring the state’s economy back on track, said Manpreet, adding that from the 4th budget onwards the state government would become revenue-surplus.To a question on the sacrilege cases, the Minister lambasted the Akali stand, saying it was evident that the SAD leaders were afraid of the findings of the Justice Ranjit Singh Commission even before its report had come out.In response to a question, Manpreet said the state’s Pay Commission report would be out in a year. On the shutting down of Bathinda thermal power plant, he said its operations had become unviable but made it clear that no employee would lose his job and all would adjusted within Bathinda district.On the Supreme Court judges issue, Manpreet described the situation as unfortunate and avoidable.Others present at the press conference included Deputy speaker Mr Ajaib Singh Bhatti, MLA (Giddarbaha) Mr Amrinder Singh Raja Varing, ex MLA Muktsar Karan Kaur Brar, Ex MLA Bhai Harnirpal Singh Kukku, District congress president Mr Gurmeet Singh khudian, Jagjit Singh honey fattanwala, Gursant Singh, Harcharan Singh sotha, Charanjit kaur Brar and Bhinder Sharma block congress president.