Chandigarh, February 19
The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), ahead of the budget session, met Vidhan Sabha Speaker Rana KP Singh, and demanded the Budget Session extended by at least 25 days and sought permission to introduce the Punjab State Liquor Corporation Bill-2019 on the floor of the House to tame the liquor mafia rampant in the state.
After meeting the Speaker here on Wednesday, senior party leader of the Aam Aadmi Party and Sunam MLA Aman Arora, along with legistlators Manjit Singh Bilaspur, Kulwant Singh Pandori, party spokesmen Neil Garg and Satvir Walia informed they discussed three core issues with the Speaker ahead of the Budget Session of Vidhan Sabha.
Of them, setting up a liquor corporation in Punjab on the lines of Delhi and Tamil Nadu and other states was discussed threadbare, seeking permission to present the Private Bill during the ensuing Budget Session, was prominent, Arora said. The AAP MLA said that on the one hand Punjab was leading all other state in terms of consumption of alcohol, the revenue collected through sale of liquor was around Rs 5,500 crore, claiming that if the liquor corporation was run properly, a whopping revenue worth Rs 12,000 crore could be collected, besides generating employment opportunities in the state.
He said that Tamil Nadu collecte about Rs 29,000 crore from the sale of liquor while the consumption of liquor was almost equal to that in Punjab. Arora said those running the liquor mafia were indulging in smuggling a large quantities of liquor across the state thus usurping huge revenue from the state exchequer.
Aman Arora informed that this time around the AAP was again seeking cancellation of deadly power purchase agreement (PPOs) inked by the Badal government with private thermal plants through a private member Bill.
He said that due to the deadly anti-state pacts, electricity was expensive in Punjab as comapared to other states of the country, saying that the state had bear the additional financial burden of Rs 70,000 crore in the next 25 years. He said there were recurring hikes in the rate of electricity tariff, leaving the consumers face the heat of the exorbitant rate, adding that electricity rates were hiked by 36 paise per unit in the recent past.
Aman Arora further said that a draft proposal on the issue of conflict of interest was also submitted to the speaker. Arora demanded setting up a special commission to deal with the 'Conflict of Interest'. He added that like the previous Badal government, the ministers and officers in the Captain government were ‘looting’ Punjab by misusing their official positions as there was no check on their nefarious activity in the absence of a relevant Bill in this regard.