‘Punishing a wrongdoer is not vendetta, it is justice’
supplied as potable water. This will be reversed in two years. A Rs 2,000-crore project aided by Asian Development Bank and World Bank has been initiated. Now, there is so much resistance from within to my efforts to make people accountable by bringing in e-governance wherein the government will have no interface with the taxpayer. That is the only way. Nobody will be able pocket government money. I have done two audits so far and faced so much resistance. No big company is ready to take up the audit and expose corruption of the previous regime. But we will ensure audit of municipalities every year. It’s a difficult job. You have to face flak. So be it. Ek inch nahin pichhe hatoonga (I won’t back down). It has always been so. Name one corporation that has money! All are bankrupt. Half the municipal bodies can’t pay salaries. This is what I have inherited That’s one factor. The biggest reason is that civic bodies, which cater to almost half the state’s population, get only 5% of revenue share. Either you permit them to earn money through taxes, or give money to them. Neither of the two has happened. Now, I will bite the bullet. collection of garbage nor segregation. The municipal corporations are helpless. The misdeeds of 20 years cannot be undone in two years. But, as a leader, I have to turn obstacles into stepping stones towards success. Raising the state’s income is at the top of my agenda.
Which is why I am crying hoarse for an advertisement policy. Haryana has 82 cities and is earning Rs 200 crore from hoardings. We have 164 cities and earn only Rs 20 crore! At its fag end, the last government allotted sevenyear contracts and forfeited future revenue.then, Fastway company that had the Badals’ patronage evaded tax of ₹400 crore a year because the cable network was not taxed. We will first give facilities and then tax the citizens. Arrears of Rs 400 crore in property and water tax are pending because the Akali-bjp government never recovered them. But, after they lost power, their mayors who were still in office issued the hefty bills so that theekra Captain sarkar te phutte (the blame falls on the Captain government). I will stand by all that. But I came to the Congress just 16 days before elections. Did you see my agenda? I will do my best to fulfil the manifesto promises. But I have a separate agenda, too. That is about how to increase the state’s income — whether it is cable TV , mines or liquor or transport. Haryana has Rs 1,700 crore surplus on buses. Punjab transport department, which is a third bigger than Haryana’s, is under a debt of Rs 500 crore. Have you heard that luxury buses are taxed at Rs 1.5 per km while tuttian-bhajjian (ramshackle) PRTC buses are taxed at Rs 5 per km! The previous government turned corruption into a fine art, plundered the state resources, and filled the coffers of one family. Whenever I get the chance to decide, I will stop their corruption. The family or their operators have to be put through a proper procedure. Vigilance is not in my hands. Anybody who has that actually has to take the decision. Punishing a wrongdoer is not political vendetta; it is justice [Raises voice]. Whosoever commits a wrong, whether from our party or others, tang deyo (take them to task)! Someone has to stand up and say ‘Punjab first’. I won’t let hopes of the people shatter. Hope is the biggest tope (cannon). It is because of this belief that my wife and I have won seven elections, and lost none. I am not here for personal gain. I will not be a mute spectator to Punjab’s destruction.