Sitharaman Counters AAP's Claims, Citing Punjab's Investment Decline

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Sitharaman Counters AAP's Claims, Citing Punjab's Investment Decline

Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman refutes Punjab government's claims of funding shortage

Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman refuted the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government's allegation that the Centre is withholding funds from Punjab. She stated that the Punjab government is not utilizing the allocated funds effectively.

Sitharaman made these remarks during an interaction with MSMEs and industrialists in Ludhiana. She accused the AAP government of misleading the people of Punjab and clarified that the Centre has not withheld any funds due to the state.

Responding to the Punjab government's claim of a Rs 9,000 crore shortfall, Sitharaman stated that any changes in income tax would be considered after the formation of the new government.

Concerns raised about Punjab's investment climate

Sitharaman expressed concern over the decline in investments in Punjab. Citing a study by the MSME promotion council, she highlighted an 85% drop in investments since January 2024. She attributed this decline to factors such as power shortages, unscheduled power cuts, drug issues, and law and order concerns.

Sitharaman presented data indicating a significant drop in investments after the AAP government took over. She claimed that investments plummeted from Rs 23,665 crore in 2021-2022 to a mere Rs 3,000 crore after the AAP's rise to power.

AAP refutes claims, presents contrasting data

The AAP government has rejected Sitharaman's claims, terming them "absolutely false" and misleading. In a social media post, the party asserted that investments in Punjab increased from Rs 38,461 crore in 2021-22 to Rs 42,637 crore in 2022-23.

The conflicting data and accusations highlight the ongoing debate between the Centre and the Punjab government regarding the state's financial situation and investment climate.