New Delhi: Stunned by state's drop in Niti Aayog's Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) Index, Punjab health minister has blamed the slip in points on health freaks, who go without food to 'reduce weight'.
Punjab, a state known for its high consumption of ghee, slipped two points on the SDG India Index and was placed at the 12th rank in 2019 out of 36 states and Union Territories. It has slipped on the goals, including 'Life on Land' (from 67 to 59), 'Peace, Justice and strong institutions' (from 84 to 83).
Reacting to the drop in rank, Punjab health minister Balbir Sidhu said, "I don't think there is anyone in Punjab who sleeps without eating food, anyone who does is probably doing it to reduce weight. We in Punjab have a such healthy and rich diet, there is no question of anyone sleeping hungry."
On the other hand, minister SS Dharamsot asked people what stopped them from making rotis when the state was providing them free ration. He further advised people to earn a living for ending starvation.
"We never had starvation. Everyone should work. A person who works can never die of starvation in Punjab. These are wrong figures. When we give atta and dal for free, why can't they even make rotis?" he asked.
With a composite SDG of 62, Punjab has not found mention among the top three states on any of the 17 indices used for evaluating states and UTs on parameters of development. Last year, the state's composite SDG was 71.