Chandigarh: The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) on Friday said the Congress government’s much hyped Investment Summit had proved to be an abysmal failure with Indian corporate czars boycotting the “social event cum musical night” due to complete lack of trust in the government’s ability to fulfill its promises as well as breakdown in the law and order in the State.
In a statement here, former minister Bikram Singh Majithia said in the absence of any worthwhile investment the so called Summit was transformed into a musical night with drinks and dinner and a singing performance by Satinder Sartaj being its highlight.
Stating that the Congress government’s track record of reneging from its promises was responsible for the lackluster show with corporate czars from outside the State virtually boycotting the event, Mr Majithia said “it seems prominent corporate entities refused to be part of this circus knowing the government had no intention of implementing the incentives it was promising.”
“The biggest incentive of supplying power at a landing cost of Rs 5 per unit has not been implemented since the last nearly three years with industry getting the same at Rs 8 per unit. How can the industry trust the promised rate will be implemented towards the fag end of the Congress government’s tenure when it has even defaulted on payments to suppliers and does not have money to release salary to electricity utility employees?” he added. He also said that similarly business was not being reimbursed State GST which has dampened investor confidence.
The SAD leader said the Congress government’s failure to maintain peace in the State and allow Ministers and Congress legislators to patronize gangsters had also kept the industry from investing in the Summit despite the fact that it was held after a period of three years. “What kind of investment can you expect in a State where a Cabinet minister like Sukhjinder Randhawa bats for giving a clean chit to a gangster killed in intra-gang warfare and where other cabinet ministers indulge in utterly insensitive banter about the benefits of imbibing opium in cabinet meetings?”
He said the increased instances of broad day light murders and extortions and kidnappings by gangsters who were targeting businessmen under the patronage of Congress ministers and leaders from inside jail had made Punjab a most dis-favourable investment destination in the country.
Stating that it was the exchequer which had been defrauded by this public relations exercise, Mr Majithia said the Congress government had used the event for photo ops to divert attention from its failures as well as give a feel good effect where none existed. He said instead of wasting crores in such unproductive activities the government should fulfill the promises made to various sections of society and provide much needed jobs to youth. “This sadly is not happening with youth being driven to despair with the government not providing any new jobs to them”.
Speaking about the investment received at the event, Mr Majithia said for this too the Congress government had only former chief minister S Parkash Singh Badal to thank. “The major investment at the summit was of Rs 24,000 crore which will be done by HMEL by expanding the Bathinda refinery. “This is the same refinery which Capt Amarinder Singh had termed as a white elephant in his earlier tenure. Now seeing how fruitful the project has been for Punjab the Congress government should pass a resolution thanking Sardar Badal and Shri Atal Behari Vajpayee for the same”, he added.