Jalandhar: Criticising the Punjab government for increase in bus fares by 5 per cent, Punjab Congress Chief Partap Singh Bajwa on Friday alleged the hike will only benefit Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal as his family has a major stake in the state`s road transport business.
"Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal holds about 90 per cent stake in total passenger transport business in state. They would be the only major beneficiary by this hike in bus fares," Bajwa claimed, demanding immediate rollback of the fare hike.
Punjab state transport department announced to raise the bus fares by 5 per cent.
Addressing a meeting of party workers at Nakodar city here, Bajwa alleged the SAD-BJP government was out to "crush common man" while the Chief Minister`s family is busy "filling the coffers" by dubious means.
"The Badal government had increased 20 per cent bus fares on October 13 last year. The last two revisions in the bus fares added about Rs 200 crore per year in the kitty of Chief Minister and his close relatives in transport business," he claimed, adding, that the effective raise would not be less than 10 per cent due to five per cent hike in the Motor Transport Tax on mini bus operators.
"Surprisingly the fleet of AC and luxury buses owned by Badal family has been exempted from hike in Motor Transport Tax," Bajwa claimed.
"Mini bus permits were given by former Congress government to educated unemployed to operate in rural areas. This step would make their business inviable for them," he said.
Meanwhile, talking about the hike in power tariff, Bajwa said, "In last six years, an unprecedented power hike of 29 per cent has been made. At a time when industry needed incentives to survive the competition, the Badal government has burdened it with more taxes," Bajwa said.
Alleging that besides transport, Badal family members were in full control of the liquor and mining sector in the state as well, Bajwa said Congress would soon launch an agitation against this hike in power tariff, bus fares.