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“No cenral concessions to new industries in Hill states”: Arun Jaitley
“Sukhbir delivers a major coup for Punjab”

Jaitley concedes Punjab’s long standing demand

New Delhi / Chandigarh August 21 – Shiromani Akali Dal supremo and
former Punjab Deputy Chief Minister Sardar Sukhbir Singh Badal today
delivered a major economic coup for Punjab and its economy as the
Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley assured him that “no economic
or industrial concessions will be allowed to any new units in Punjab’s
neighbouring states.” This paves the way for “ a level playing
field” for setting up new industrial units in Punjab or its
neighbouring hill states. This had been one of the major grievances
and demands of “ the sensitive border state of Punjab.”
With centre conceding this demand on persistent pleas from Sukhbir ,
decks have been cleared for fresh investments in Punjab without any
fear of having to compete on unequal terms with neighboring states.

“This puts an end to long years of injustice and indiscrimination
against the brave and patriotic people of Punjab. Everyone can now set
up industry in Punjab without having to face the crippling
disadvantages of unequal terms between Punjab and neighboring states.
I have no words to thank the Prime Minister Shri Narinder Modi and
the Union Finance Minister, Shri Arun Jaitley ji for allowing
Punjabis to compete without their hands tied at their backs for any
fresh enterprise,” Mr Sukhbir Singh Badal told waiting newsmen after
his meeting with the Union FM , Shri Jaitley.
Mr Badal led a delegation of his party comprising the Member
Parliament Shri Naresh Gujral, Former Punjab Finance Minister S
Parminder Singh Dhindsa and the party General Secretary and Advisor on
National Affairs Mr Harcharan Bains . Mr Badal presented a memorandum
on behalf of the SAD and “all the business, trade and industry in
Punjab. This will have a spiral effect on the revival of agriculture
as more industry means more demand for raw material, especially
cotton, wheat and maize etc.”

The SAD Memorandum to Shri Jaitley had detailed the injustice done
to Punjab for over two years and pleaded that “The magnitude of losses
suffered y the state on account of the concessions already given to
hill states around Punjab run into incalculable proportions,
amounting to several lakhs of crores. Apart from trade and industry,
it has already had a spiral effect on the others sectors of economy,
primarily agriculture and service sectors as the entire economy
functions as an inter-dependent network of multiple market forces. “

Sukhbir pleaded that “purely on merit, no state deserves these
concessions more than does Punjab which is the only part of the
country which is situated on a live and hostile border which even
centre admits continues to be a cause of concern for national
security. It has faced four active and bloody wars since
Independence . In addition, we also suffered crippling ravages of
nearly two decades of militancy which even the GoI admits was a
foreign sponsored conspiracy to weaken Punjab in order to bleed our
great country. ”
Jaitley listened to Badal patiently in a meeting lasting
nearly an hour, also closely ging through the memorandum . At the
end, he remarked, “ I see merit in your plea. In future, we will
ensure that no new units in your neighbouring states enjoy any
concessions over and above what Punjab gets.”
Naresh Gujral and Parminder Singh Dhindsa and Harcharan
Bains also profusely thanked the Union Finance Minister for his “most
positive assurance.”

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