To put the state on pedestal of industrialisation, Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal today urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to constitute an expert group for it "as agriculture, the mainstay of our economy, has reached plateau." Addressing a gathering during a function to honour nearly 250 micro, small and medium scale entrepreneurs here at Punjab Agricultural University (PAU), he said Punjab's economy had been badly shattered on account of several factors, like partition immediately after freedom, decades long militancy, liberal concessions to neighbouring hill states "and finally discriminatory freight equalisation policy". Badal said due to the "hostile neighbour", the economy of the border districts of the state has been hit badly and it was a high time for the Centre to address this issue on top priority by ensuring a level playing field for "hard working and innovative industrialists of the state". The five-time Chief Minister said with the squeezed margins of profit in the agriculture sector, the industry was the only viable solution for the development in the state. Highlight the plight of current agrarian scenario, Badal impressed upon Modi to constitute another expert group to make agriculture a remunerative preposition. He said the farmers of the country were facing a tough time and the Centre was duty-bound to bail out them from it. Badal said farmers of Punjab needed special dispensation "as we owe an obligation towards the resilient peasantry which had sacrificed everything to make our nation self-sufficient in food production." He said the expert group must suggest "ways and means" to make farming a profitable venture.
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