Noting that Punjab’s debt rose by about Rs 50,000 crore under the AAP dispensation, Governor Banwarilal Purohit on Friday sought from the government details of utilisation of “this huge amount”.
Responding to Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann’s letter requesting him to take up the issue of “pending” rural development fund (RDF) amounting to Rs 5,637 crore with the president and the prime minister, the governor said it would be appropriate to wait for the decision of the Supreme Court on the state government’s plea on the matter.
In his letter on Thursday, Chief Minister Mann said his government had taken up the matter with the Centre and even at the level of the prime minister, RDF dues of Rs 5,637.40 crore were yet to be released by the Centre.
In his response, the governor wrote, “I have received your letter regarding the Rural Development Fund amounting to Rs 5,637 crore and requesting for my intervention to take up the case with the prime minister. At the outset, I would like to convey that I am duty-bound to serve the people of Punjab.”
“I have learnt from the media reports that you have already approached the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India before approaching me. It would be appropriate to wait for the decision of the highest court before anything is done on this issue,” he said.
The state government moved the Supreme Court in July on the issue.
In his letter, the governor wrote, “Further, I have learnt that the debt of Punjab rose by about Rs 50,000 crore during your regime. Details of the utilisation of this huge amount may be furnished so that I will be able to convince the prime minister that money has been properly utilised.”
In his letter on Thursday, Mann pointed out that because of the non-release of RDF, the mandi board was unable to repay its existing loans and carry out development activities for farmers.
Food grains are procured by the state government for and on behalf of the Centre. All food grains are procured under the central pool.
The AAP dispensation in Punjab and the Raj Bhavan have been at loggerheads in the recent past over various issues.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)