In the first major action after taking charge in Himachal Pradesh, the Congress government Friday announced that it will order an enquiry into alleged largescale irregularities in land deals and benami transactions during past five years of BJP rule
Winding up a debate on Motion of Thanks on the Governor’s Address in the Assembly, Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh, said, “Members have raised the issue of irregularities in land deals and benami land deals during the last five years and I assure them that all such irregularities would be probed.”
On references made by Leader of the Opposition Prem Kumar Dhumal regarding the loans raised by previous BJP government, Singh clarified that the debt liability of the state had increased from Rs 21,241 crore on March 31, 2008 to Rs 26,650 crore on December 31, 2012 and the increase during past five years was Rs 7,409 crore.
Further, the HPIDB converted a loan of Rs 1,838 crore into guarantee in 2009-10 and the actual loan raised during past five years was Rs 9,247 crore which was Rs 1,200 crore more than the total loan of Rs 8,032 crore availed by Congress government between 2003-07, he said.
Referring to Rs 1,100 crore World Bank loan sanctioned to Himachal Pradesh, Singh said the Leader of the Opposition was claiming credit for the loan which entailed 90 per cent subsidy. But, this subsidy has been given by the Union government and not by the World Bank, which has not allowed any subsidy on the loan, he said.
In another development, sharing the concern of the House on monkey menace, after the issue was raised by Congress MLAs and HLP leader Maheshwar Singh, the Chief Minister said the only immediate solution was to control the simian population through sterilisation.
“We will approach Centre for funding as more sterilisation centres need to be set up and veterinary doctors and staff will be required,” the CM said.
Terming the withdrawal of the special industrial incentives as `unjustified’, he claimed it was done due to a concerted campaign by some states. He said the matter will be taken up afresh with the Centre.
Putting a question mark on various awards won by the BJP government, the chief minister said no doubt these awards were conferred by top dignitaries but the “credibility” of the organisations deciding the awards should be understood.
Deflating the tall claims of development made by the BJP government, Singh