Punjab News BJP panel meets Badal today


Prime VIP
To discuss adjustment of power bills, surcharge on VAT

Jalandhar, June 23

A meeting between a three-member committee constituted by the BJP and Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal will be held tomorrow where two important issues, including adjusting power bills to the tune of Rs 560 crore, will be taken up. Sources said the BJP team, led by MP Navjot Singh Sidhu, would meet Badal at his official residence in the evening. Sidhu would be accompanied by two other members - Manoranjan Kalia and Balramji Dass Tandon - of the committee.

The chief of the state unit of the BJP, Ashwani Sharma, had set up the committee here yesterday keeping in view sentiments expressed by various members of the party executive and other senior leaders at a meeting of the party’s core committee and office- bearers.

Following the BJP pressure, power tariff hike was rolled back last year and the state had promised that increased tariff recovered from power consumers would be adjusted against their future power bills. However, it has not been done so far. Other issue is of passing on revenue collected from surcharge on VAT to the Local Bodies Department for the development of urban areas.

The BJP wanted that about Rs 200 crore collected as surcharge on VAT from January to March this year should be given to the local bodies as per the decision of the Sukhbir-Kalia committee and estimated Rs 1,100 crore to be collected as surcharge on VAT during the current fiscal year should also be passed on to the Local Bodies Department on monthly basis.

Sources said BJP MLAs and senior leaders held an exclusive meeting this evening. MLAs told the committee that their political existence, survival and credibility had been damaged severely in the past three months, as funds had not been given to BJP- represented constituencies during the past three months. Even a MLAs have given a free hand to the committee for negotiating with Badal and they conveyed that there should be no compromise as far as funds allocation for BJP constituencies to get approved from the Chief Minister.