Condemning the Bharatiya Janata Party-led (BJP) Union government for ignoring Punjab and giving tax exemption to industries in the Himalayan states till March 2027, state leader of Opposition Sukhpal Singh Khaira has asked Union food and processing minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal to resign from her post on Thursday.
He said that she has failed to secure the right of the state, despite being a cabinet minister in the Modi government. Khaira was addressing a press conference here. He said, “Being a minister in the BJP government and daughter-in-law of former Punjab chief minister (CM) Parkash Singh Badal, Harsimrat was supposed to bring special packages for the state.”
“Instead, she has failed to bring the right of Punjab, by giving tax exemption to the industries in hilly states. Harsimrat should immediately step down from her post in the Modi government, taking moral responsibility of the partiality against Punjab,” he said.
He said that central government has announced tax exemption for the Himalayan states. But they have ignored Punjab, which is debt-ridden and needs special packages to revive its industries.
“The Vajpayee government, in 1999, had first initiated complete tax benefits of central excise duty, sales tax, income tax, etc to the hill states. This policy was further pursued by the Manmohan Singh government for another 10 years. Now, the Modi government has decided to extend the tax benefits to the hill states for 10 years,” he said.
Khaira said that as per records, 4,284 industrial units will benefit from the new tax waiver decision by the BJP government and a sum of Rs 27,413 crore will be refunded as subsidy, to these units. He said, “Even Punjab chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh had recently revealed that almost 30,000 industrial units of the state have either shut down or moved to the hill states to avail these tax benefits.”
He also targeted Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) chief Sukhbir Singh Badal and asked him to break his alliance with the BJP for failing to get an exemption on the Goods and Services Tax (GST) for the Golden Temple’s langer.
Attacking the Congress government, he said, “This discriminatory decision is a huge setback for the Captain Amarinder Singh, who has been repeatedly going to Prime Minister Narendra Modi with a begging bowl. He should lodge a protest on the behalf of the state.”