State Congress president Partap Singh Bajwa Monday wrote to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh requesting him to extend the special industrial package for three hill states to six border districts of Punjab too. A copy of the letter was also sent to Congress president Sonia Gandhi.
Bajwa said reports have suggested that UPA was considering to extend industrial package given to Himachal Pradesh,Uttarakhand and Jammu & Kashmir beyond 2013,which was the sunset year. Punjab may not be able to attract industry if the package is extended to our neighbouring states as during the last seven to eight years,274 industrial units from Punjab entailing an investment of Rs Rs 3674.79 crore have shifted, Bajwa said.
Our six border districts of Fazilka,Ferozepur,Amritsar,Tarn Taran,Pathankot and Gurdaspur are industrially backward, he wrote.
The SAD,meanwhile,slammed Bajwa for the move. Describing the letter as mischievous and discriminatory,SAD Secretary and Spokesman Daljit Singh Cheema said: Though these six border districts are industrially backward,the rest of the state has also suffered heavily due to excise concessions.
He urged Bajwa to explain why the Congress has left out 16 other districts of Punjab. Have Ludhiana,Jalandhar,Mandi Gobindgarh,Mohali and other industrial cities not suffered badly due to the industrial package given to the neighbouring states?