New Delhi : Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh sought Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s support in promoting the state’s industrial development to revive its economy and enable job creation for the unemployed youth.
At a meeting with the Prime Minister here, Captain Amarinder also sought the Centre’s support for resolution of the agrarian crisis in Punjab. He further requested the Prime Minister’s intervention to settle the Rs. 31000 crore debt, resulting from the CCL legacy gap of Rs. 12,500 cr and the exorbitant interest of Rs. 18,000 imposed on it by the Centre.
The said debt would require Rs. 3240 crore to be spent every year on debt servicing for the next 20 years at the cost of the welfare schemes of the state, he said, urging that the entire matter be relooked into and the burden be proportionately shared by all concerned agencies in a just and fair manner. He pointed out that the gap had resulted from difference in actual expenditure and expenditure approved in cost sheet approved by the Department of Food & Public Distribution (DFPD), Government of India, and the inability of the State Government agencies to fully repay the CCL. The DFPD had repeatedly assured the state government to address the issue but there had been no movement on this front so far, he added.
On the CBI investigation into cases of sacrilege and targeted killings of RSS, Hindu and Shiv Sena leaders, taking place in Punjab since January 2016, the Chief Minister noted that despite their best efforts, the central and state police and intelligence agencies had failed to make a breakthrough. He requested that central intelligence and investigation agencies be instructed to augment their efforts to trace these cases, especially in view of recent inputs indicating plans of militant/radical organisations and individuals to launch more such targeted attacks in Punjab.
Captain Amarinder once again called upon the central government to provide necessary funds to Punjab for meeting the recurring annual costs, apart from the capital cost of raising two IR Battalions sanctioned by the Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) in 2016 for strengthening of border management in the state. He also sought extension of the Security Related Expenditure (SRE) scheme, currently being implemented in Left Wing Extremism affected states, to Punjab in view of the large-scale attempts to destabilize the state and perpetrate disharmony.
Calling for special financial provision by MHA for strengthening of Intelligence Infrastructure in the sensitive border state, the Chief Minister said substantial investments were urgently needed to build capacity in many areas, such as lawful interception, social media monitoring, etc. He expressed serious concern over the growing use of social media, such as Facebook and WhatsApp, to spread misinformation and fan communal passions to create a law and order problem across the country, including Punjab. He sought the Centre’s help in monitoring of social media, and also suggested various measures that could help the central and state governments curb its misuse.
The Chief Minister reiterated his request for deployment of two CAPF companies at the high security jails in Punjab, where hardcore terrorists and dreaded gangsters are lodged. Observing that the Union Home Minister had already approved the stat government’s request in this regard, he said Punjab was willing to provide an equal number of IRB companies to the Centre in exchange.
Punjab was particularly vulnerable to proxy war and trans-border terrorism, narco-terrorism, and cross-border smuggling of drugs, weapons, explosives, as well as influx of Fake Indian Currency Notes (FCN) from across the border, Captain Amarinder warned, seeking central support for augmenting security measures in Punjab.