Nirmala Sitharaman Accuses Punjab Government of Misusing Funds

Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman refuted claims by the Punjab AAP government that the Centre withheld funds. She accused the Punjab government of not utilizing funds properly and misleading people. The Finance Minister also highlighted a decline in investment in Punjab, attributing it to power shortages, drug issues, and poor law and order.

PTI | Ludhiana | Updated: 28-05-2024 23:46 IST | Created: 28-05-2024 23:46 IST
Nirmala Sitharaman Accuses Punjab Government of Misusing Funds
Nirmala Sitharaman
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It is incorrect to say that the Centre is not giving funds to the Punjab government, Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said on Tuesday here, responding to the AAP government's allegation that the Union is shortchanging the state.

''The reality is that the Punjab Government is not using money rightfully,'' she said.

Sitharaman was in Ludhiana Tuesday evening to interact with the MSMEs and industrialists.

During the interaction, she slammed the AAP government in Punjab and said that it is misleading the people of the state.

Her remarks came in response to the Punjab AAP government's claim that the Centre withheld Rs 9,000 crore from the state's share.

On another matter, the Finance minister said any changes in the income tax would be incorporated after the formation of the new government.

She said she is confident that the industry will invest in Punjab again.

She said that according to a study conducted by the MSME promotion council in January 2024, Punjab has witnessed 85 per cent decline in investment. ''We cannot afford it.'' Power shortage, unscheduled power cuts, drugs and law and order situation are some of the major factors preventing businesses from investing in Punjab, she claimed.

''In 2018-2019, Punjab received investment of Rs 43,323 crore and in the year 2019-20 the investment was Rs 12,267 crore, which increased again in 2020-21. Even during the lockdown due to the Coronavirus outbreak in the region the state received Rs 15,761 crore investment,'' Sitharaman said.

''In the year 2021-2022 the investment grew to Rs 23,665 crore, but after the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) formed government in Punjab, the state received investment of Rs 3,000 crore only,'' she claimed.

The AAP has rejected the report, terming it ''absolutely false'' and misleading.

In a post on X, the ruling party in Punjab claimed that the investment in Punjab increased from Rs 38,461 crore in 2021-22 to Rs 42,637 crore in 2022-23.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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