CHANDIGARH, March 18: Former Chief Minister and President Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee Capt Amarinder Singh today rejected the statement of Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal that there was no difference between the Budget and a White Paper on state of finances in Punjab.
During an informal conversation with some reporters after attending the Question Hour and Zero Hour in the Punjab Vidhan Sabha today, the former Chief Minister said, his party was still prepared to debate and discuss the issue provided the government agreed to reframe the budget and re-present it in the Vidhan Sabha. He said, till then the state could bring a vote on account budget for three months.Disagreeing with the Chief Minister that Budget was like a White Paper, Capt Amarinder Singh pointed out, the Budget is an annual statement of income and expenditure of the government while the White Paper his party is demanding will include all the aspects of the financial issues and problems the state is facing.
Justifying his party’s charge that the Budget was a statistical mirage with fudged figures, he pointed out, their stand had been vindicated by the media and reputed economists also. He said, there were several figures in the Budget speech which were quite at a variance with the Governor’s address.
Justifying the stand of his party not to participate in the debate on Budget, he said, there was no point in debating surreal things, the Budget was full of. “Gradually the skeletons have started falling off the government’s cupboard”, he remarked, while adding, they are not able to hold to something today what they said yesterday as can be made out from the dichotomy between the Governor’s address and the Budget speech.
“The point has gone well among the people in general and experts in particular who have now been in total agreement with our stand”, Capt Amarinder Singh pointed out, while adding, the government has no option but to admit to its mistake and concede their (Congress) demand.