Chandigarh, March 9 (PTI) The opposition on Tuesday rejected the budget presented by the Congressional-led government of Punjab, saying it had “disappointed” all segments of society.

Participating in a budget discussion, opposition members in the State Assembly claimed that the state government had attempted to present a rosy image that was far from reality.

Finance Minister Manpreet Singh Badal presented the latest budget for the government headed by Amarinder Singh on Monday. Elections are scheduled for early next year in the state.

Bikram Singh Majithia, member of Shiromani Akali Dal, claimed that the budget had “disappointed” all segments of society and that the state government had “failed” to keep its key poll promises, such as the full exemption of agricultural loans and jobs for each household.

Majithia criticized Finance Minister Manpreet Singh Badal for not including the Rs 8,359 crore loan taken by the Center in the budget, adding that this would bring Punjab’s debt to Rs 2.73 lakh crore this year. “This loan will stay on your books,” he said.

To this, Badal said that it is the Center that will repay the loan of Rs 8,359 crore.

Majithia said the debt to the state’s gross domestic product would increase to around 48% instead of 45% as claimed by the FM if actual financial numbers are taken into account.

After Majithia attempted to strike the government with a couplet, Punjab minister Charanjit Singh Channi fired back at Akali’s top leader, claiming that all of Punjab are questioning the “wealth amassed” by a family.

Congressman Navjot Singh Sidhu also joined Channi in trying to corner Majithia and asked him how he got a “line of sport utility vehicles”.

Responding to this, Majithia said he was happy to have been able to “make the sleeping ones talk”, apparently pointing at Navjot Sidhu.

Former Akali finance minister and rebel lawmaker Parminder Singh Dhindsa said the state’s economic growth was steadily declining and alleged the budget tried to show a rosy picture, but the truth is far away of being.

Dhindsa alleged that whether it is the last government or the current regime, certain “vested interests” are involved in policy formulation.

Amargarh Congressman Surjit Singh Dhiman raised the issue of the “deplorable state” of health facilities in his constituency.

He said people’s faith in health services in rural areas “was fading”.

Another congressional lawmaker, Harpartap Singh Ajnala, addressed the drug issue in the state and called on all lawmakers not to support anyone who sells heroin, smack and tramadol.

Aam Aadmi party lawmaker Amarjit Singh Sandoa expressed his displeasure at not having allocated a project to the Rupnagar constituency.

AAP MP Aman Arora called it an election budget and alleged that the figures had been falsified in the budget proposals. He called the budget as “peepa” (empty box). “People will ask Congress why it did not keep the promises it made before coming to power,” he said.

He said that no roadmap had been prepared to reduce the debt burden. PTI CHS VSD RDK RDK

Warning :- This story has not been edited by Outlook staff and is auto-generated from news agency feeds. Source: PTI

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