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Modi govt’s move to extend BSF jurisdiction will ‘annihilate’ Punjab’s economic prosperity: Minister

Lashing out at the Narendra Modi government for step-motherly treatment with the agrarian state, Singh said as compared to Punjab, BSF jurisdiction has been cut short by 20 km in five northeastern states of Manipur, Mizoram, Tripura, Nagaland and Meghalaya where it has had jurisdiction of 80 km.

SNS | Chandigarh |

Punjab horticulture and soil and water conservation minister, Rana Gurjeet Singh, on Tuesday said the Centre’s decision to enhance Border Security Force’s jurisdiction in Punjab has created a panic and a sense of insecurity in investors.

Addressing a Press conference, Singh said an investor will not go to the 25,000 square kilometres (km)border belt (out of a total of 50,000 square kilometers in the state) which is under the jurisdiction of the BSF. Even the adjoining industrial units of home grown industries would consider shifting to safer places, he said.

Lashing out at the Narendra Modi government for step-motherly treatment with the agrarian state, Singh said as compared to Punjab, BSF jurisdiction has been cut short by 20 km in five north eastern states of Manipur, Mizoram, Tripura, Nagaland and Meghalaya where it has had jurisdiction of 80 km.

In Gujarat, it has been curtailed from 80 to 50. There should be a level playing ground and such imbalance would even hit trade, commerce and industry in the land-locked states, besides creating tiffs between Central and state agencies, the minister said.

Singh said Punjab as the border state has been ignored while granting special packages of incentives to neighboring states like Himachal Pradesh for capital investment subsidy and now, the extension of BSF Jurisdiction from 15 km to 50 km is yet another jolt to Punjab. Agriculture sector especially in the border area is already under stress and extension of the BSF jurisdiction will further add to their difficulties, said the Cabinet minister.

The Cabinet minister assured he would request Punjab Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi to convene a one-day session of the Assembly to pass a resolution and to take up the matter with the Union government to reconsider the BSF jurisdiction extension and lead a delegation of all the stakeholders for a meeting with the Prime Minister of India.

He said there is a dire need to reconsider the BSF jurisdiction issue in concurrence with the state and grant special incentives at par with north eastern states. The first step in this direction would be to constitute a Western Border States Advisory Council having Chief Ministers or Governor of the states as members under the chairmanship of Union home minister on the pattern of North East Council to deliberate the issue of creating of a dedicated corpus fund pooled through a mandatory contribution from all the Union Ministries in the Union Budget.