THE PUNJAB government has proposed to sell 1000 MW surplus power to Pakistan or Nepal to fill its empty coffers. Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Thursday met Prime Minister Narendra Modi and sought his support in allowing the state government to sell surplus power.
The chief minister also sought the PM’s support in making agriculture more sustainable for farmers in the state by putting in place a deficiency price payment mechanism to encourage a shift to non-paddy cultivation. Amarinder also requested an increase in central government compensation for such farmers to ensure effective and stronger border management, said Raveen Thukral, his media adviser.
The CM further sought Modi’s intervention in preventing the possible revival of the concession package to neighbouring states as it would negate the Punjab government’s efforts to fetch investment, create jobs for unemployed youth and revive the state’s economy.
Pointing to the 1000 MW surplus power availability in Punjab after meeting its internal demand, the chief minister said the sale of power to neighbouring Pakistan or Nepal as the case may be would save the citizens of the state from the burden of paying extra tax and also save electricity consumers from the extra burden of fixed cost of power generating units.
Since Punjab shares its border with Pakistan and its Goindwal Sahib thermal power plant is situated close to the international boundary, it would not be difficult for the state to supply power to Pakistan on a continuous basis. Amarinder also expressed concern over reports of the ongoing efforts to revive the package of concessions for the neighbouring states of Himachal Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir and urged Modi’s intervention to ensure that no such special package is given to these states at the cost of Punjab’s economic development. If at all a special package is to be given, then Punjab should also be treated at par by granting a similar package, he demanded.