Lucknow (Uttar Pradesh) [India], September 25 (ANI): Punjab Finance Minister and Congress leader Manpreet Singh Badal on Friday said that though Prime Minister Narendra Modi has stated that the income of farmers would be doubled, it is the lowest in the last 14 years this year.
Addressing a press conference at the Congress office in Lucknow, he said, "Six years ago, PM Narendra Modi had said that the income of farmers will be doubled, but it is the lowest this year in last 14 years. The growth in the agriculture sector currently is 3.1 per cent, which was higher when the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) was in power."
Badal was in Lucknow on Friday in connection with the Congress' decision to hold nationwide protests against the farmers' bill across the country.
He said, "The Centre announced that it would transfer Rs 500 to farmers' accounts every month. However, a farmer pays Rs 6,000 for diesel only. A farmer is committing suicide in the country every hour. Since PM Modi came to power, a Rs 6,60,000 crore loan waiver was granted to corporate industries. Last year, their corporate tax was also reduced."
"States account for 42 per cent of corporate income and excise tax. Instead of excise duty, they increase special excise duty, the share of which was not shared with the state. They should have taken state governments into confidence before waiving off corporate tax," he observed.
Pointing out that a business can trade with his PAN card number, without a licence, he asked, "If a trader buys anything from a farmer and does not pay him, how will the person be caught?"
"We are ready to challenge the farmers' bill in the Supreme Court. The state government will go to the apex court to protest against the farmers' bill. This is a state subject. The centre cannot destroy the economy of a state," he said. (ANI)