BSF issue yet another jolt to Punjab: Minister

BSF personnel patrolling near the border in Ferozepur, Punjab. File photo  

The Central Government’s decision to enhance the powers of the Border Security Force (BSF) in Punjab is yet another jolt to the State, according to the State’s Technical Education Minister, Rana Gurjeet Singh.

Mr. Singh on Tuesday said he would request 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 Centre to reconsider the BSF jurisdiction extension and also lead a delegation of all stakeholders for a meeting with the Prime Minister.

Also Read: Explained | Enhanced powers of Border Security Force

The State’s agriculture sector, especially in the border area, was already under stress and extension of the BSF jurisdiction would further add to their difficulties, he stated.

‘Farm sector hit’

“The State has been ignored while granting special package of incentives to neighbouring 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 us,” he observed.

“There is a dire need to reconsider the jurisdiction issue in concurrence with the State and grant special incentives on a par with the northeastern States. The first step in this direction would be to constitute a western border states advisory council, having Chief Ministers/Governor of the States as members under the chairmanship of the Union Home Minister, on the pattern of North East Council to deliberate the issue of creating a dedicated corpus fund pooled through a mandatory contribution from all the Central ministries in the Union budget,” he remarked.

Channi explains stand

On Monday, Mr. Channi declared that his government would not accept the Centre’s decision on the BSF’s jurisdiction, which he termed was “against the spirit of federalism.”

He pointed out that law and order situation was a State subject and it was none of the Centre’s business to thrust this decision on Punjab without taking the State into confidence. He asserted that the State government was fully competent to handle the law and order situation with its police force. He pointed to the capability and capacity of the State police in ‘immaculately’ containing the decade-long militancy and restoring long- lasting peace.

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Printable version | Dec 6, 2021 12:09:20 PM |

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