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Chandigarh, (Gurpreet) Submitting a comprehensive memorandum containing all the suggestions and demands of Punjab for the Union Budget 2023-24, the Punjab Finance Minister Advocate Harpal Singh Cheema on Friday sought a border area special industrial package of ₹2500 crore for the development of border districts of the state besides raising other major demands including the resolution of Cash Credit Limit (CCL) issue in line with recommendations of 15th Finance Commission sub-committee, budgetary support of ₹1,125 Crore for assistance to farmers quitting stubble burning, ₹1,000 Crore special assistance for modernisation of Police force and policing infrastructure in sensitive border districts of the state, Vande Bharat Trains from Holy City of Sri Amritsar to New Delhi and Bathinda to New Delhi, and a railway link between Rajpura and Chandigarh.

During the pre-budget meeting with the Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman held at Manekshaw Centre, New Delhi, the Punjab Finance Minister Harpal Singh Cheema said that Punjab being a border State with high stakes in national security needs to be considered along with other such areas in India as “Special Cases” to attract investors and industries. “A special package of Rs. 2,500 Crore be provided to the State of Punjab for the development of the Industrial Sector in the border districts of Pathankot, Gurdaspur, Amritsar, Tarn Taran, Firozpur, and Fazilka.

He said that this budgetary support would help the State Government in the setting up of infrastructure for Industrial Hubs and Parks specifically focusing on the One District One Products (ODOPs) and supplementing the promotion of exports besides providing special incentives or subsidies to the investors for establishing their industrial units in these border districts.

Raising the Cash Credit Limit (CCL) issue, Cheema said that the Sub-Committee notified by the 15th Finance Commission under the Chairmanship of Dr. Ramesh Chand, in its report has clearly verified claims of the Government of Punjab amounting to Rs. 6,155 Crore. He demanded early resolution of this issue in line with the rightful claims of Punjab as stated in the Sub-committee report by providing the state relief of Rs. 6,155 Crore from this unsustainable debt burden.

Demanding budgetary support of ₹1,125 Crore for assistance to farmers quitting stubble burning, Punjab Finance Minister said that the State Government has already requested the Government to India to support and collaborate by providing Rs. 1500 per acre as compensation to farmers in lieu of the additional cost to be incurred on the management of paddy stubble and thus to tackle the menace of stubble burning and air pollution. He requested to consider this proposal on priority in the interest of farmers' welfare as well as common citizens of NCR and demanded to provide budgetary support of Rs. 1,125 Crore in the Union Budget 2023-24 for the same.



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