Attacking SAD and AAP while de-emphasising the work being done by the current Congress government in the state, PPCC chief Navjot Singh Sidhu Tuesday held-up his ‘Punjab Model’ as a cure-all for the state’s financial problems.
Sidhu, who met industrialists, traders and local councillors in Ludhiana on Tuesday, asserted that he was planning for the government to be formed after the 2022 polls and not for the current one led by CM Charanjit Singh Channi.
Asserting that his ‘Punjab Model 2022’ will create jobs and reverse the trend of youths moving abroad, Sidhu said, “I am here for Punjab Model 2022. It is not only mine but also that of Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi.” He asserted that a major demand of the business community was “abolishment of inspector Raj” and Punjab Model would ensure that.
Sidhu said that he would be creating a ‘Single Window System’ online to save industrialists and traders from any harassment to get permissions but that would be implemented after Punjab polls 2022 only.
“If we say that we will implement a single window system today itself, it is unlikely that anyone would believe 1.5 months of government. There is a government beyond March 2022. Sidhu is targeting those five years beginning March 2022 and that is what the Punjab Model is about. Punjab Model doesn’t say that treasury is empty, it instead talks about giving jobs and creating employment,” said Sidhu, adding that he would be releasing the final roadmap of his ‘Punjab Model’ after holding consultation meetings with councillors, industrialists and other stakeholders in each district.
Sidhu’s meeting with industrialists and traders came after AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal and SAD president Sukhbir Singh Badal held similar meetings recently in Ludhiana.
ATTACKS BADALS OVER INVESTORS MEET
Attacking SAD chief Sukhbir Badal, Sidhu said: “Why do Badals have monopoly in buses, cable business? Sukhbir Badal is a businessman and he is here to snatch businesses of others.”
Sidhu added that the previous SAD-BJP government led by Badals had been ‘exposed’ as against the ‘promised investment of Rs 1.20 lakh crore in Punjab, only Rs 6,000 crore came’ which was ‘not even 5 per cent of what was promised’.
Flashing a set of documents, Sidhu said, “Akali Dal organised Punjab Investor Summit in 2015 in which it was claimed 391 MoU were signed. They claimed that the state will get an investment of 1.20 lakh crore but the ground reality is that of those 391 MoUs, only 46 materialised and the investment received was of Rs 6,000 crore only. It simply means that Rs 1.14 lakh crore did not come to the state at all. Where did it vanish? This is not even 5 per cent of what was shown and promised to the people of Punjab. They spent Rs 5 crore on advertising this summit but it failed to bring in even 5 per cent of the investments in reality to what was actually portrayed.”
He further said: “We also have a list of five SAD leaders, including N K Sharma, who had promised that they will invest Rs 9,205 crore in the state but in actuality the figure stands at zero. So if your own leaders did not trust you, who else will?,” said Sidhu.
Sidhu claimed that major companies including DLF, Reliance etc. did not invest a single penny in Punjab despite participating in the 2015 summit. “Most of them have ‘zero’ ahead of their names,” said Sidhu showing the list.
“Many big companies had signed MoUs of Rs 31,160 crore and at least a hundred of them are of zero amount. Several MoUs worth Rs 10-20 lakh each were also failures with zero investment,” he said.
Comparing SAD-BJP government’s figures to that of Congress government, Sidhu said, “Now coming to our government, we had promised investment of Rs 1 lakh crore of which 52 per cent commercial productivity has already started.”
‘UNEMPLOYMENT UP 5 TIMES IN DELHI’
Turning his focus on AAP-ruled Delhi, Sidhu said that “unemployment has increased five times in the past 6-7 years” there.
Targeting Arvind Kejriwal and Capt Amarinder Singh both, he said, “Earlier also someone had promised 26 lakh jobs, even now someone is claiming that they will provide jobs and one should save the ’employment cards’. But no one has got any job.”
“I had asked a few questions from Kejriwal but he has failed to answer them,” said Sidhu, referring to his tweet in which he asked Kejriwal to show “8 lakh jobs promised for Delhi in the AAP’s 2015 manifesto”.
‘SINGLE WINDOW SYSTEM HOLDS KEY’
“Single window system is the answer. The Punjab Model will build trust among the people towards the government. We have passed laws for Ease of Doing Business but they are yet to be implemented. As of now, at least 13-16 permissions and maximum 33 are required from different departments to start a business. Single window system is nothing but political will. CM should depute one person in each department for clearing permissions. We will proceed to the next step and create a digital platform for getting permissions online but it will happen after the 2022 polls,” he said.
Sidhu said that his Punjab Model will “give a concrete plan to develop industry and create jobs”.
He added that one of the points of his upcoming model for industry would be that district-level industries won’t need any permissions from Chandigarh.
“Why should businessmen from districts go to Chandigarh? Each deputy commissioner has those powers to get permissions for any expansion, CLU etc. Why should one travel to Chandigarh for it? Those who come from outside states should trust Punjab. Everyone knows that trader, businessmen are harassed but no one finds a solution. I promise that the upcoming Punjab Model will empower youth, will stop youths going abroad and make them job creators here,” claimed Sidhu.