Chandigarh, September 18
Top functionaries in the government are keeping their fingers crossed as the case, filed by the state government against the Centre for its refusal to pay the Rural Development Fund to the state, is listed for hearing on September 25.
The Punjab Government had filed a petition in the Supreme Court on July 11 against the Union Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution. Representatives of the state government and a team of legal experts will be present there for the hearing as top officials of the state government are winding up their discussions on all points to be raised in the apex court.
Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann had taken up the matter of stopping the Rural Development Fund with the Union Food Ministry. When the Centre did not respond in May, the Chief Minister decided to approach the Supreme Court for the release of the funds by the Centre.
The Union Ministry of Consumer Affairs and Public Distribution owed Punjab Rs 3,622.40 crore as the development fund. Of this, Rs 1,400 crore is due for the wheat season of 2022-23 and 2023-24, while the outstanding balance of the paddy season of 2021-22 and 2022-23 is Rs 2,222 crore. Since Congress rule in the state, there has been a tussle with the Central Government over the issue of the development fund.
Due to the suspension of the fund, the work on repairing the rural roads has stopped.
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