Former union minister and Bathinda MP Harsimrat Kaur Badal today said the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government had not only looted the State exchequer but had bankrupted Punjab by taking an unprecedented loan of Rs 70,000 crore in the space of two years.
Speaking in parliament, the Bathinda MP said “the debt of Punjab has risen to 3.4 lakh crores, which is the highest in the country and constitutes 48 per cent of its GDP”. She said while the previous Congress government had borrowed Rs 1 lakh crore in the five years of its tenure besides indulging in widespread corruption, the AAP government had even surpassed its predecessor. “This government has borrowed Rs 70,000 crore in two years but has nothing to show by way of infrastructure development. Thousands of crores of rupees have been frittered away in publicity stunts and advertisements as well as election campaigning of AAP in other States”.
Asserting that the level of corruption during the AAP tenure was even more than the Congress, Mrs Badal said the Punjab exchequer suffered a loss of hundreds of crores due to a tailor made excise policy which was made to favour a few chosen players. She said the Punjab excise policy, which was identical to the Delhi excise policy which was being probed by the CBI and in which several arrests had been made, was yet to be probed by central agencies. “I have made a request to get this policy probed by central agencies and was given an assurance to this effect in parliament but till yet nothing has been done”.
Mrs Badal also highlighted how the poor and the women were suffering despite the high borrowings of the AAP government. She said various welfare schemes including the Shagun scheme, aata-daal scheme and old age pension scheme had been pruned even as women were still waiting for the promised allowance of Rs 1,000 per month. She said the AAP government should deposit Rs 24,000 in the bank accounts of all women in keeping with its promise.
Speaking about the work done during the SAD tenure from 2007 to 2017, the Bathinda MP said “the erstwhile SAD government made Punjab power surplus after inheriting a power deficit State from the Congress”. She said the SAD was also responsible for laying 1500 kilometers of roads besides creation of 13 Universities including IITs, IIMs and prestigious medical institutions like AIIMS. She said as many as 1959 industrial houses invested in Punjab during the SAD tenure including names like Infosys and ITC.