South Asian Insider
Opinion and Editorial
Punjab: Crackdown on transport mafia continues, govt's daily revenue crosses Rs 1 crore
As the crackdown on the transport mafia in Punjab continues, the government's daily revenue has surpassed Rs 1 crore.
Since the Punjab government launched a crackdown on the transport mafia last month, the transport department's daily revenue has crossed Rs 1 crore.
Punjab Transport Minister Amarinder Singh Raja said on Wednesday that the department's daily income has crossed Rs 1 crore after the crackdown on tax evaders, illegal activities and unlicensed bus operators.
Raja told a press conference at Punjab Bhavan that the transport department's revenue is steadily increasing and has reached Rs 100.48 lakh per day.
Referring to the department's income for the last two months, the Minister stated that the income of PEPSU Road Transport Corporation (PRTC) and Punjab Roadways was Rs 39.01 crore and Rs 34.15 crore, respectively, in September 2021, which increased to Rs 54.74 crore (PRTC) and Rs 49.57 crore (Punjab Roadways) in October.
Raja stated that the total income of the two institutions increased by 42.57 per cent (Rs. 31.15 crore) in October from Rs 73.16 crore in September and that the daily income from both institutions is Rs 100.48 lakh.
Comparing the increased income of the department with the past, the transport minister said, "Ten years of the rule of SAD-BJP and four and a half years of Captain Amarinder Singh's compromised government allowed sheer loot of the state exchequer and the amount of these 5220-days would stand at around Rs 5,200 crore."He further said that people who fill up their pockets by looting public funds could never think of public welfare.
Raja said the Akalis had surpassed Ahmed Shah Abdali in looting public money with both hands, revealing the true face of politicians who were expanding their business through the transport mafia by forming governments in the name of serving the people.
He claimed that Punjab and Haryana High Court Justice Surya Kant's order prohibiting the illegal expansion of multiple permits issued in 2012 had not been properly implemented.
"We have now fully implemented this decision and cancelled 680 multiple permits for illegal expansion of more than 1 lakh kilometres, with the state government profiting Rs 42 lakh per day in October," Raja said.
He emphasised that if the illegal permit expansion had been halted from 2012 to 2021, the state exchequer would have received Rs 1,380 crore for 3,285 days (Rs 42 lakh per day) over a nine-year period, which could have been spent on public welfare.The transport minister said that if Rs 6,600 crore had gone to the state exchequer, 24,000 new buses could have been purchased, 50,000 new drivers, conductors, and other staff hired, and two new buses could have been run from each village in the state.The scam will be thoroughly investigated by forming a Special Investigation Team (SIT) and that any person found guilty, whether a leader or an official, will not be spared at any cost, said Raja Warring.
According to the Minister, 304 buses have been seized for tax evasion, operating without permits, and other violations and 64 buses have been fined so far.
He claimed the transportation department had collected Rs 7 crore in taxes.
The Minister also said that 842 more buses will be added to the state government fleet soon, with 1,100 PRTC buses and 1,550 Punjab Roadways buses currently on the road.
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