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Hand Chandigarh back to Punjab - Harsimrat K Badal

Chandigarh, (Gurpreet)– Senior Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) leader Harsimrat Kaur Badal demanded Chandigarh be handed back to Punjab even as she called for giving a special package to the State for the sacrifices it had made to feed the nation and stressed the need to extend tax benefits in border areas to encourage investment.

Participating in the debate on the union budget in Parliament, the Bathinda MP said “each state in the country has its own capital city which contributes 30 to 40% to its GDP”. She said Punjab was the only state which did not have its own capital and demanded the situation be remedied immediately .

Mrs Harsimrat Badal also called for grant of a special package to Punjab to compensate it for the sacrifices made to feed the nation. She said Punjab had served as the food Bowl of the country since decades. “In doing so we have depleted our ground water with 117 out of 133 blocks being declared as dark zones. Even the Central groundwater board 2019 report states Punjab has water for the next 17 years only. There is a real danger of the State turning into a desert”. She said the state should be given a special package to offset the losses suffered on this account.

Mrs Badal said Punjab was also suffering because despite freedom to apply rural development tax, the Centre had withheld accumulated Rural Development Fund (RDF) of Rs.3000 crore and was blackmailing Punjab to reduce its tax if it wanted access to the RDF.

The Bathinda MP also demanded that special tax incentives be given to industries setting up units in the border belt of the state. She said this was necessary to develop the border area and provide employment opportunities to its people. She also called for continuation of GST compensation to Punjab taking into account its unique situation.



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