Chandigarh, 07th June, 2014: Punjab the food bowl of India is currently going through a social & economic crisis which shows no signs of slowing down. The economic situation is deteriorating with every passing day & to add to that the widespread drug trade has already taken a toll on the youth of Punjab. Taking a stock of the situation Mr. Kewal Singh Dhillon Vice-president PPCC & MLA from Barnala, with great concern called for introspection on behalf of Punjab’s ruling fraternity. He expressed his amazement that no one seems to be giving a serious thought on how to save the economy of the state.
Mr. Dhillon said, “The image of a once prosperous Punjab has now become dark & grim. The economy of the state is in shambles with the current debt expected to have crossed the 1 lakh crore mark. The 13th finance commission identified Punjab as one of three fiscally stressed states. The treasury is running dry and is incapable of supporting the high wage & loan bills of Punjab, which have increased leaps and bounds during the current regime while income has remained stagnant. The government has been unable to identify ways to generate funds or propose concrete ways to reduce the expenditure of the state. Instead, they are sitting & hoping that the newly formed NDA government will provide debt relief. Political leaders only indulge in reactive politics, the government hurries into action on issues that are in media view while concerns like the economic downturn have been completely ignored for the moment. The drug menace had been going unchecked for a long time with some studies stating 73.5% of state’s youth under the influence of drugs, but the government started taking action only after a poor show in Lok Sabha elections. Also the current Punjab government has woken up to the plight of farmers only after media highlighted the cases of farmer suicides in the state. The state government needs to proactively start identifying issues & give each problem due importance. Practical decisions are the need of the hour instead of popular ones. Politics needs to take a backseat & SAD leaders need to stop focusing on how to preserve their power and start focusing on what’s best for Punjab.”
Mr. Dhillon cornered the ruling government on the uncoordinated manner in which the drug issue is being tackled. He said, “Just arresting drug peddlers & addicts won’t solve the problem, we also need to put a plan in place for creating awareness amongst youth & better infrastructure for rehabilitating drug addicts.” He also pointed out that in the last few months’ names of several powerful politicians of the ruling state government were associated with drug trade & sand mafia but the government did not act against those ministers. This has even led to a breakdown in relations with its coalition partner BJP who accepted publicly that the poor image of certain SAD leaders cost them in the Lok Sabha Polls. He asked for action against such ministers & inquiries be ordered to expose the alleged nexus between politicians & the mafia.