The Punjab Assembly on Wednesday passed the ‘Vote-on-Account’ of more than Rs 25,199 crore for the first three months (April-June) of the 2017-18 fiscal. Moving the Appropriation (vote-on-account) Bill, Finance Minister Manpreet Singh Badal said the previous SAD-BJP government had “looted the state for ten years”.
Congress government will bring a white paper on the state’s fiscal health, he told the Assembly here. “It is sad that poor man in Punjab didn’t even came to know that he was being looted by the previous government,” he said.
Amarinder Singh government will get a third party audit done of major expenses by the previous government in its last three years, Manpreet said.
“Those found involved in plundering the government funds will not be spared,” he said.
However, former Finance Minister and Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) MLA Parminder Singh Dhindsa said that his party was open to the audit.
“There was no illegality done in spending of money for any work…if anyone found guilty by audit, the government is free to take action,” he said.
Manpreet further said the previous government has hypothecated the future revenue of Punjab State Industrial Development Board (PIDB) and Mandi Board for five years.
He said that the Akali government distributed Rs 6 crore allocated for development of Hoshiarpur district to some 300 contractors.
“The law will take its own course in handling those found involved in irregularities in disbursement of funds,” he added.
Leader of Opposition and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) MLA H S Phoolka said that the “looted money of Punjab should not go out of the state at any cost.”
AAP’s Sukhpal Singh Khaira said that responsibility should be fixed on who looted the state.
He criticised the Congress government for making number of appointments on the rank of OSDs, and termed the move as “illegal and unconstitutional.”