Ruchika M Khanna
Tribune press service
Chandigarh, July 18
The Punjab’s rural economy is expected to be hit, with the Center again hardening its stance on releasing Rs 1,600 crore, to be paid to the state for the recently concluded Rabi Marketing Season (RMS).
As the Center imposed new conditions to release the money, the state government went into a vertigo, realizing that the conditions could not be met.
The Center, in a statement sent to the state, a copy of which is with the Tribune, called for the state government to match the land details of each farmer whose produce has been purchased with the amount of produce sold. by him, by reviewing all J forms (these are submitted at the time of grain supply).
The Center also called on the state to take action against farmers, commission agents, procurement agency officials, if there is a discrepancy between the two. It is only in respect of this that the State can expect the Center to release the Rural Development Fund (RDF), he was told.
The conditions set by the Center for the release of RDF must be met by July 31, the end date of the cash credit limit (CCL) for RMS 2020-21. State government officials told The Tribune that it was impossible to meet these conditions in the coming days, which meant the state would have to forgo the Rs 1,600 crore.
“The position now taken by the Center smacks of bias against Punjab and its earlier decision not to grant RDF. Against three percent of RDF, only one percent was released in the last Kharif Marketing Season. This year’s forecast cost sheet mentioned that no RDF would be granted, following which the ministers and state officials had a series of meetings with the Minister of Consumer Affairs, Food and Health. Union public distribution. It was agreed that the state government would have all J forms countersigned by sarpanches / panches / lambardars. The state did this for 10 lakhs of farmers, and now new conditions have been imposed, ”a senior state government official told The Tribune.