Punjab Congress to boycott debate on budget

Last Updated: Wednesday, March 16, 2011 - 19:03

Chandigarh: Main opposition Congress on Wednesday
announced boycott of the ongoing budget debate in Punjab
Assembly, alleging that the figures presented by the SAD-BJP
government were nothing but "a bundle of lies and half
truths".



As the general discussion on the budget estimates for
year 2011-12 commenced, Punjab Congress chief Amarinder Singh
read out an eight-page speech with the Speaker`s consent, amid
stiff opposition from Parliamentary Affairs Minister Tikshan
Sud.
Amarinder said, "If the government wishes to go ahead,
disregarding the constructive approach we have suggested, we
feel that it will be futile for us to associate ourselves with
this ritual of passing the budget, which is nothing, but a
statistical mirage and a bundle of lies and half truths.



"We will instead, go to the people, who I am sure will
caste away the offensive stench of nepotism and corruption
perpetrated by this Akali-BJP combine and put this government
where it belongs, into the archives of history," he said.



The moment Amarinder ended his speech he told the House
that the Congress members will be boycotting the debate on
budget. The debate on budget, which started today, will
conclude on Friday.
He also demanded that the state government should bring
out a white paper on true state of its finances and the
measures it proposes to undertake to rectify the fiscal mess
for which the Congress was for discussion in the Vidhan Sabha.



Speaking about the fiscal condition of Punjab he alleged
that, as per budget estimates of 2010-11, the public
debt of the state is Rs 71,086 crore and the interest on it is
Rs 5,763.66 crore. However, this is only half the story, he
added.



"If we add to it the borrowing of public sector
undertakings, deferred liabilities and unfunded liabilities of
the government, the debt burden would crosses Rs 1,25,000
crore," he said.



"This government in just four years has added more to the
debt liability of the state than all the governments put
together in 41 years since 1966," he alleged.



Meanwhile, refuting the charges Deputy Chief Minister
Sukhbir Singh Badal told reporters in press gallery that
"opposition had accepted defeat without entering the battle
field."



"We presented a perfect budget which left little with
opposition to do...in fact opposition has no issue...they have
run away from the battle field," he said.



PTI



First Published: Wednesday, March 16, 2011 - 19:03

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