Punjab on the verge of financial emergency: Amarinder

Punjab on the verge of financial emergency: Amarinder

"The debt has accumulated to Rs 1.72 lakh crore and the state government is not in a position even to pay the interest on it," Pradesh Congress President and former chief minister Amarinder Singh said at a public rally here.

The government has stopped welfare measures and is barely able to pay the monthly salary to its employees, he alleged.

"It is unfortunate that a state like Punjab is not able to pay the benefits of the Fifth Pay Commission to its employees," Singh said at the rally as part of the party's Punjab Bachao Yatra.

"The shagun scheme has been stopped and the widow and old age pensions were never paid on time. There has been no development in Punjab during the last five years and the projects completed during this time were initiated earlier during the Congress regime," he said.

Spelling out his party's agenda for the future of Punjab, he said, generating employment for 47 lakh unemployed youth will be priority, if the party comes to power in the state after the assembly polls, due early next year.

"Added emphasis needs to be laid on primary education and healthcare to make it accessible and affordable for all the sections of the society. Agriculture needs to be diversified and the confidence among the investors restored so that they set up industry in Punjab which will generate revenue and jobs and improve the economy," he said.

The PCC chief said during his tenure as CM (2002-07), the Congress government had created a dedicated fund of Rs 450 crore for the welfare schemes after imposing a special cess on liquor, but the present SAD-BJP regime withdrew that cess when they came to power.

Addressing the rally, party incharge for Punjab affairs, Gulchain Singh Charak claimed that only Congress was in a position to run this country.