September 1, 2021 6:20:17 am
Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh Tuesday said that all controversial power purchase agreements (PPAs) signed by the previous government, cannot be cancelled, as it will leave to a major power shortage.
“There are 122 PPAs. If I cancel all, I will have to leave work and sit in the Supreme Court forever. Where will we get power from? I am reducing the price where the rates under PPAs is very high,” Amarinder said.
He was reacting to a question over Punjab Congress chief Navjot Singh Sidhu constantly nudging the government on the issue of PPAs.
Amarinder was speaking to the media at the function organise to roll out enhanced social security pension from Rs 500 to Rs 1500.
He also asserted that his government has fulfilled 90 per cent of the promises made before the 2017 assembly elections. “We had made 547 promises in the manifesto. Out of which, 422 have already been fully implemented which is 89-90 per cent, 52 are nearing implementation and work is going on 59,” he said.
Fourteen promises are difficult to fulfil as these were related to VAT which has been replaced by the GST regime, he added.
On banned Sikhs for Justice’s Gurpatwant Singh Pannu issuing a threat to him, Amarinder said, “I dare him to come here.”
Commenting on Pakistan’s “designs to foment trouble in Punjab”, the CM said Punjab Police had recovered a tiffin bomb a few days ago. “They (Pakistan) have hatched a conspiracy. They wanted to target children. But the way the weapons have come this side, a lot of RDX, over 50,000 rounds of ammunition…This has come through the river. Now, drones are coming daily. We have been able to catch some. I think they have a bigger plan. We do not know whether they are using it in farmers’ agitation. I do not think that our farmers are involved in this. We do not know where these weapons came from. But to say that this came through farmers, is wrong.”
He said in all these years, he has never seen so many weapons come in and asserted that they will be used by sleeper cells of Khalistanis for recruitment. “The sleeper cells that exist of Khalstanis, they do not have that type of recruitment which can utilise so many weapons. They are hoping to recruit and we do not know from where the recruits will come,” he added.
To a question on one-day Assembly session, Amarinder said it was a “special session” for the commemoration of the 400th ‘Parkash Purb’ of Guru Tegh Bahadur on September 3. “The House will be adjourned but not sine die. Then after a week or ten days we will meet again,” he said.
On the drug issue, he said narcotics were coming from Srinagar, Nepal and other places. He said that 46,000 people were in jail for being involved in drug-related activities.
On Sidhu’s diatribe against the CM and party in charge Harish Rawat’s visit to Chandigarh to find a solution to the Congress feud, Amarinder said, “I cannot comment on this. This is for the Congress President to see.”
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