Punjab’s economic situation worsening, claims a panelJune 18th, 2009 - 10:14 pm ICT by IANS
Chandigarh, June 18 (IANS) Punjab, once one of the richest Indian states, is now fast becoming poor amid economic challenges like shrinking land holdings, migration and the absence of big industries, a centrally appointed commission said here Thursday.
“There was a time when Punjab used to be the richest state of the country but now circumstances have changed. We have observed that people of the state are becoming poor very fast,” said S.R. Sinho, chairman of the Commission for Economically Backward Classes.
The commission was constituted by the central government in 2006 to elicit the views of state governments and union territories for providing reservation to economically backward classes.
“It is because of the shrinking land size, migration of natives of the state to other areas, less number of government jobs and the absence of big industries in Punjab,” Sinho told reporters.
Members of the commission are on a visit to Punjab and Chandigarh June 16-20 to evaluate the financial condition of the region.
They will hold a meeting at Amritsar Friday with political leaders, bureaucrats and representatives of various institutions to discuss the economically situation in the state.
“Our aim is to identify the economically backward classes that are not covered under the existing reservation policy,” Sinho said.
“In our report, we will suggest the quantum of reservation in government jobs and in the education sector for the economically weaker sections without affecting the existing caste-based reservations,” he added.
The commission was earlier expected to submit its report to the government in July 2009.
“However, we have requested for extension of time as we might take a few more months for the compilation of the report,” he added.
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