Akali Dal seeks concessions for Punjab industry

    By IANS,

    Chandigarh : Terming tax concessions for industrial investment in Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand “discriminatory”, Punjab’s ruling Shiromani Akali Dal Friday demanded that the state should be given the same tax concessions at par with these two hill states.

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    Led by Akali Dal president and Punjab Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal, a delegation of Akali Dal and alliance partner Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders Friday submitted a memorandum to Governor Shivraj Patil pointing out the discriminatory policies of the central government towards the state.

    Badal charged the UPA government with trying to sabotage the Punjab government’s recent move to rope in over Rs.65,000 crore industrial investment which industrial houses and commercial establishments promised during the recently-held Progressive Punjab investors’ summit.

    “The action of the Congress-led central government to extend tax concessions to the neighbouring states and denying the same incentives to Punjab seems to be a well-entrenched conspiracy to sabotage the plans of the state government to usher in an era of unprecedented industrial development here,” he alleged.

    Badal claimed Punjab needed a special industrial package more than other states as it had a 550-km international border with a hostile neighbour and had borne the brunt of attacks in two wars with Pakistan in 1965 and 1971.

    He also said that Punjab suffered locational disadvantage, being a land-locked state.

    “Punjab is not against the grant of these tax concessions to any neighbouring state, but the denial of these incentives to the border state of Punjab is a clear cut case of bias and step-motherly treatment to the state,” he contended.