Centre rejects Punjab's request for Rs 1,837 cr loan for 103 projects : The Tribune India

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Centre rejects Punjab's request for Rs 1,837 cr loan for 103 projects

Turns it down over rebranding of wellness centres into Aam Aadmi Clinics

Centre rejects Punjab's request for Rs 1,837 cr loan for 103 projects


Tribune News Service

Ruchika M Khanna

Chandigarh, December 11

In a major blow to the cash-strapped state government, the Centre has rejected the Aam Aadmi Party government’s proposal, seeking special assistance (loan) of Rs 1,837.33 crore for 103 projects.

The fund request of the state has been rejected for “branding violations” in respect of Ayushman Bharat Health and Wellness Centres. These have been rebranded by the state as Aam Aadmi Clinics. Earlier, funds amounting to Rs 750 crore under the National Health Mission were also held back by the Centre for these violations.

Earlier this year, the state government had sought the assistance under the Scheme for Special Assistance to States for Capital Investment 2023-24. The state had sought the additional funds for 103 projects. The reason for seeking these funds was that its tenure was 50 years and would have been an interest-free loan.

The Centre had been sitting on the state government’s proposal for the past several months. In a letter issued to the state’s Principal Secretary, Finance, the Department of Expenditure in the Ministry of Finance has said they had warned the state to rectify the violation and send a compliance report by September 30, failing which the proposal submitted by the state government and the release of funds under the scheme would be rejected.

“The state government had given an undertaking on July 5, 2023, regarding the compliance with the branding guidelines of all centrally sponsored schemes, but the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has reported instances of violation of branding guidelines in respect of the Ayushman Bharat - Health and Wellness Centres”, reads the letter.

This year, the grants-in-aid and contributions from the Centre have been much lower than last fiscal. Between April and October this year, Rs 9,392.55 crore was released as against Rs 13,878.29 crore between April and October last year.

CM to chair meeting

Though the proposal has been rejected, the state government is in active discussion on how to renew its claim and get the money. A meeting will be chaired by Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann on this issue this week. — Anurag Verma, chief secretary

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#Aam Aadmi Clinics #Aam Aadmi Party AAP


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