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Posted at: Jan 11, 2017, 6:57 PM; last updated: Jan 11, 2017, 7:06 PM (IST)

Trader to be Punjab’s next finance minister: Sisodia

Trader to be Punjab’s next finance minister: Sisodia
Delhi Deputy CM Manish Sisodia. — File photo

Ravi Dhaliwal

Tribune News Service

Batala, January 11

Delhi Deputy Chief Minister and AAP leader Manish Sisodia has said if his party was voted to power, Punjab will have a trader as its finance minister.

He was addressing a gathering of businessmen in the industrial town of Batala.

Sisodia was in the town to campaign for state AAP chief Gurpreet Singh Waraich who is also the party candidate from Batala.

Observers claim that the decision to ask Sisodia to address businessmen was taken in view of the fact that 65 per cent of the voters are either directly or indirectly dependent on industry.

“We have abolished the Inspector Raj in Delhi due to which businesses have started growing after registering a negative growth rate during the previous Congress government. In Punjab, too, we will do the same. We have also charted out a plan wherein special incentives will be given to industry in the border belt,” he said.

“In Batala, 75 per cent of the foundries have closed due to the lopsided industrial policies and high tax structure imposed by the Badal government. This will be given a re-look. A special policy for SSI units has also been formulated by experts. Special emphasis will be given on setting up cottage industries in villages,” Sisodia said.

He added that new units automatically translated into more employment opportunities. “If there is industry there will be jobs. If there are jobs youth will not take to drugs as they will remain busy in earning livelihoods for themselves and their families. This is the reason why we see setting up of more units as an antidote to drug use,” he added.

Waraich, in his address, said, “There were more than 2,000 foundries in 1980. Now just 530 remain. There were nearly 550 firms manufacturing agricultural implements and now just 128 are in business. Manufacturers of hand tools have been wiped off the industrial map of the town while producers of galvanised pipe, conduit pipe, brass cutting and aluminium doors and windows are gasping for breath. Likewise, there were 2,500 industries dealing in lathe drill machines in the late eighties and now just 705 are in business. Industries dealing in wooden and steel furniture too are seeing a downward spiral. Our government will ensure that Batala regains its position of being the number one industrial town of Punjab.” 


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