After ‘Goonda Tax’ taint, Amarinder orders crackdown

Chandigarh, Feb 15 (IANS) With allegations flying thick about ruling Congress legislators and leaders indulging in collection of ‘Goonda Tax’, Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Thursday ordered the Director General of Police to crack down on the menace.

Taking note of reports of illicit collection of money from business and industry, Amarinder Singh ordered a crackdown on the “so-called Goonda Tax”, a spokesman for the Chief Minister said on Thursday.

Director General of Police Suresh Arora was asked to activate all available resources to identify and take strict action against the culprits, irrespective of who they are.

“The issue was raised during the Cabinet meeting by ministers, who urged the Chief Minister to take cognizance of reports related to Goonda Tax being charged from businesses and industries in some parts of the state.

“Finance Minister Manpreet Badal said his name was being vilified in the whole process, that was adversely affecting business sentiment, which the state government was striving hard to promote,” the spokesman said.

Responding to the concern, Amarinder Singh told the DGP to initiate immediate steps to crack down on those involved in the collection of such tax, without taking into consideration their political or other affiliations.

The Chief Minister asked the DGP to ensure that the message goes down the rank and file of the police force that no laxity or delay in the matter would be tolerated, the spokesman added.

Amarinder Singh said: “Such activities hinder the government’s efforts to bring industrial and economic development back on track, and to provide a clean and transparent environment to boost industry and investment in the state.”

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