Captain seeks Jaitley’s intervention on ₹31,000 crore food account
The amount was to be adjusted between the state and the Centre but was wrongly taken over by Punjab.
Punjab chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh, on Friday, met Union finance minister Arun Jaitley to press for immediate settlement of ₹31,000-crore of food account on the procurement of wheat and paddy, that had been wrongly taken over by the previous government.
Seeking Jaitley’s intervention, the CM said the ₹31,000 crore, which included ₹12,000 crore principal and the ₹19,000 interest was to be adjusted between the state and the central governments, which the SAD-led state government had instead taken over. The sum was on account of non-adjustment of accounts for procurement that the state agencies had done for the FCI from 2003-04.
“I have been pursuing the matter since taking over as chief minister. It is now pending for a decision with the Union finance ministry,” said Amarinder. Noting that the state was already facing an annual interest payment liability of ₹3,240 crore, he added that the total pay-off might touch
₹65,000 crore over a 20-year payment period, which was totally untenable for the state.
Responding to the CM’s concerns, Jaitley said he would get the matter thoroughly examined and settled expeditiously. He asked Amarinder to send a high-level team of state officers led by finance minister Manpreet Singh Badal to discuss the matter.
First Published: Sep 01, 2018 11:56:45