Seeking financial package legitimate right: Sukhbir Badal

Amritsar : With the central government not showing any inclination to extend financial help to debt-ridden Punjab, state’s Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal Friday said that it was the legitimate right of Punjab to seek a financial package.

“Punjab has sought its legitimate right of financial package from the centre as it fought the nation’s war against terrorism,” Badal asserted while talking to media here after offering prayers at the Golden Temple.

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Referring to the central government’s reluctance to give a financial package to the state, Badal said Punjab has been demanding its legitimate right as special economic assistance.

“This is a reasonable demand of the state and it should be unconditionally fulfilled. Punjab had suffered a lot during the militancy period and is still suffering the pains of that period. The war against terrorism was a nation’s war fought by Punjab for the security and integrity of the country,” he said.

The Punjab government, led by Sukhbir’s father Parkash Singh Badal, had been critical of the earlier United Progressive Alliance central government for not giving a financial package to Punjab and alleged its attitude towards Punjab was “discriminatory”.

Sukhbir Badal said that he and the chief minister would meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Finance Minister Arun Jaitley to seek a financial package.

He said Punjab was also lagging behind on economic front due to massive tax concessions provided to hill states, and demanded Punjab should also be included in that category.

“Punjab has made the nation self-reliant on food security front though it has suffered a lot due to terrorism and other severe crises. The state’s economy has also face hit due to tax concessions to neighbouring states. Punjab played a significant role in freedom battle of country by making highest sacrifices,” Badal said.