Former deputy chief minister and Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) president Sukhbir Singh Badal today said it was shameful that Punjab had descended from number one to number twenty under the leadership of Capt Amarinder Singh and was now being ranked below erstwhile ‘bimaru’ States like Bihar and Jharkhand.In a statement here, the SAD president said Punjab had been ranked number twenty in the latest World Bank report on ease of doing business. He said in direct contrast the State had been ranked number one in ease of setting up business in 2015 and number one in single window reform in 2016. “It is clear now that the SAD-BJP government took Punjab to the number one position after coming out with a new industrial policy in 2013 while you (Amarinder) devoted one and half years to bring it twenty notches down. What could be worse?”Stating that all the good work being done by the SAD-BJP government was being derailed, Mr Badal said the Congress government was behaving like an enemy of Punjabis by destroying its own State. “The Invest Punjab department which resulted in creation of a one stop clearance system and boosted investment has been virtually demolished. The Reforms Commission has been scrapped. Citizen centric services initiated through 12,000 Sewa Kendras which removed the need to go to government offices have been closed down. It is because of all this that the chief minister suffered the disgrace of being asked to wake up by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The time for excuses and blame games is over. You have been in power for one and a half years now. You must perform now or quit”, the SAD president told Capt Amarinder Singh in a hard hitting statement here.
Castigating the Congress government for downgrading Punjab from a leader state in the World Bank report during SAD-BJP tenure to a backward one now, Mr Badal said it was a matter of record that Punjab’s model of genuine single window clearance and establishment of Invest Punjab department to facilitate investors was replicated by Haryana, Telengana, Uttarakhand, Chattisgarh , Andhra Pradesh and even the Union Industry Policy department. “Today a State like Haryana which followed our lead and our processes has climbed to number three in ease of doing business. States like Jharkhand and Bihar who used to look at Punjab as a model state have beaten it with rankings of fourth and eighteenth respectively”.Stating that the pathetic performance of the Congress government had hurt Punjabi pride, Mr Badal said Punjabis were known for being leaders not laggards. He said it was unfortunate that Capt Amarinder Singh’s myopic vision had derailed the Punjab growth story which had resulted in record investment of Rs 45,000 crore during SAD-BJP tenure despite constraints of being surrounded by tax incentivized States”.Stating that the situation was likely to deteriorate further, the SAD president said concessions promised to industry were not being delivered. “Not a single new road is being built. Employees are not getting timely salaries. The under-privileged are not getting social benefits. It is time the CM woke up to this harsh reality and took remedial action. This is the least you (Amarinder) can do for the people of the State who reposed faith in you even if hoodwinked to do so by deceit and false promises”, the SAD President added.