Badal hails Centre for NITI Aayog, raising states' share in central taxes
Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal on Thursday said his Shiromani Akali Dal's stand on federalism was vindicated after the Centre decided to raise states' share in central taxes to 42 percent from 32 percent.
Anandpur Sahib: Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal on Thursday said his Shiromani Akali Dal's stand on federalism was vindicated after the Centre decided to raise states' share in central taxes to 42 percent from 32 percent.
He also hailed the Centre's decision to scrap the "archaic" Planning Commission and replace it with "progressive" NITI Aayog.
At a 'Hola Mohalla' function here, he said the SAD is a votary of true federalism and has been trying relentlessly to secure financial autonomy for states since long. So that, he said, the states can implement their programmes and schemes intended for overall development and welfare of the people.
Badal said for the first time in the last six decades, any central government has conceded to long-pending demands of the states. And now they were hopeful that the states would not be merely treated as beggars looking at the Centre for even their petty demands, he said.
Rather, he said that they would be full-fledged partners in the development process of the states viz-a-viz the country. Badal said all the Chief Ministers in future would have equal say in the planning process adopted by NITI Aayog.
Terming this a "paradigm shift" from the centralised approach followed by the erstwhile Planning Commission, he said, this ushers an era of harmonious Centre-State relations.
He said the Centre's benevolence showered on his state was reflected in the Union Budget 2015-16 in which Punjab was allotted prestigious AIIMS, Horticulture Research Institute and above all world class heritage status to Jallianwala Bagh memorial in the holy city of Amritsar.
He said a good start has been made by the NDA government and the day was not far when Punjab which, according to him, had been hitherto blatantly ignored by the previous Congress governments, would be duly compensated with more such projects in the near future.
On the electoral prospects of Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) in Punjab, he said, "It has no future in the state as the massive mandate to the SAD-BJP alliance in recently concluded civic polls indicated that the wise people of the state were solidly behind the alliance government and its pro-people and result-oriented policies."
The Chief Minister announced that the state government would make budgetary provisions in the forthcoming budget for concluding the year-long celebrations on June 19, 2015 of 350th foundation anniversary of Anandpur Sahib.
Badal said that he would also personally request Prime Minister Narendra Modi to attend the function.
The Chief Minister said that this historic day reminds "all of us of rich legacy behind this sacred 'Hola Mohalla' festival, which symbolised the tenth Sikh Master Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji's great ideology and endeavour to infuse the undying spirit of well being (Chardi Kala) amongst the Sikhs to fight against tyranny, oppression and injustice unleashed by the Mughal rulers".
On the occasion, Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal highlighted achievements of the SAD-BJP combine government in the state.