CHANDIGARH: The centre has refused to release Rs 2,880 crore due to the state under the Rural Development Fund (RDF), dealing a blow to the cash-strapped state administration and igniting yet another conflict between the BJP-led NDA government and the AAP-led Punjab government.
Since the Centre has assured the state that rationalising statutory fees will lessen the burden of subsidies on the state exchequer and encourage private actors to buy grains at higher prices, which will benefit farmers, this will lower the cost of subsidies on the state exchequer.
On November 15, the Minister of Commerce and Industry, Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution and Textiles Piyush Goyal wrote a letter to Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann stating,
“Please refer to your DO letters dated July 23 and October 19 requesting to issue revised provisional cost sheets incorporating the provision of Rural Development (RD) fee of 3% of MSP for KMS 2021-22 AND RMS 2022-23. The New Indian Express has a copy of the letter. The department is investigating the situation in accordance with the guidelines.