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Settle Rs 31,000-cr food account: Capt to PM

June 19, 2018 05:55 AM


Settle Rs 31,000-cr food account: Capt to PM
Says previous state govt erroneously took it entirely upon itself whereas procurement was done for FCI
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, June 18

Punjab Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh on Monday sought Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s intervention for settlement of Rs 31,000 crore ‘food account’ against procurement of wheat and paddy, a matter hanging fire for long.
Capt Amarinder said the erstwhile state government erroneously took upon itself the financial burden, which should have been adjusted between it and the Centre.
In a 30-minute meeting with PM Modi at the latter’s residence here, Capt Amarinder said the sum was on account of non-adjustment of accounts for procurements done by state agencies for the Food Corporation of India from 2003-04 onwards. He said of the Rs 31,000 crore, Rs 12,000 crore was principal and remaining Rs 19,000 crore interest.
The state was burdened with an annual interest payment liability of Rs 324 crore and the total payoff on account of accretion of interest could touch a whopping Rs 65,000 crore, which would be untenable, said the Chief Minister. The CM has raised the issue with the Centre several times and it is now in the court of the Union Finance Ministry.
Besides, he demanded a special package for the development of border areas. He reiterated the demand for central assistance of Rs 2,145 crore for the 550th Guru Nanak Dev Prakash Utsav celebrations, which kick off in November 2019. He also sought central grant of Rs 100 crore for development of surrounding areas of Jallianwala Bagh in view of the proposed observance of 100th year of the massacre on April 13 next year.
The other demands include institution of national debt waiver scheme, making Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana totally centrally funded and procurement of alternate crops such as maize, pulses and oilseeds by central agencies.
Capt Amarinder later met Union Minister for Water Resources and Road Transport Nitin Gadkari and sought early clearance of the Shahpur-Kandi dam project.

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