State dealing well with slowdown: FinMin

Punjab is dealing well with the effects of the global economic meltdown. This year,we will present Rs 8,500-crore annual budget,which is almost double the amount presented by our government in its first year.”

Written by Express News Service | Ludhiana | Published:February 27, 2009 3:30 am

Punjab is dealing well with the effects of the global economic meltdown. This year,we will present Rs 8,500-crore annual budget,which is almost double the amount presented by our government in its first year.”

This was stated by Finance Minister Manpreet Singh Badal,who was the chief guest at the annual prize distribution ceremony at Khalsa College for Women.

“I would like to make it clear that according to the VAT regime,we cannot levy any more taxes. So,this is certainly not the reason for the budget being put on hold,” the minister said,while replying to a question over the budget delay. He added that the delay was in the best interest of the state. “As many as 15 other states in the country have also taken the same decision,” he said.

Terming Punjab as the state which offers the highest compensation to farmers for land acquisition,Manpreet said: “The compensation for land acquisition is nearly three times the market price. For instance,we are giving a total compensation of around Rs 2600 crore for the power plant project in Gidderbaha and people are coming to us with their land.”

“We do not want any social unrest even though it costs us dear. We therefore,pay high compensation even for projects being undertaken under a public private partnership (PPP). Manpreet said the state had witnessed an increase in agricultural production and the pricing of agricultural commodities by of 30 per cent in the last year. He also gave a grant of Rs 5 lakh to the college.

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