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Posted at: Aug 31, 2018, 9:45 PM; last updated: Aug 31, 2018, 9:45 PM (IST)

CM meets Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, demands settlement of state’s ‘food account’

CM meets Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, demands settlement of state’s ‘food account’
Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh calls on Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh in New Delhi on Friday. Photo: PIB

Ravi S.Singh
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, August 31

Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh met Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Friday to reiterate the state’s demand for quick settlement of Rs 31,000 crore toward ‘food account’ for procuring wheat and paddy—a financial burden the former claims had been wrongly taken on by the previous government.

A spokesperson for the state government said the finance minister promised to consider Punjab’s request, and suggested a meeting between him and state Finance Minister Manpreet Singh Badal to discuss the issue.

Punjab already faces a liability of Rs 3, 240 crore in annual interest alone. The state government now fears that its total payoff could touch a whopping Rs 65,000 crore.

The state government claims that the sum—principal amount of Rs 12,000 crore and interest of Rs 19,000 crore—is for non-adjustment of food account for procurement state agencies have done for the Food Corporation of India from 2003-04 onwards. Amarinder Singh’s government claims that the previous state government under former chief minister Prakash Singh Badal wrongly took on a financial burden of Rs 31,000 crore that should have been divided between the Centre and the state.

Capt Amarinder Singh called on Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh in his office earlier in the day. Although his aide called it “a courtesy call”, security issues are understood to have cropped up at the meeting.



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