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Centre accepts Punjab’s demand to release Rs 1,760 crore pending RDF, says CM Mann

New Delhi,  Union minister Piyush Goyal has accepted Punjab’s demand to release Rs 1,760 crore outstanding rural development fund (RDF) after Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann took up the matter with him on Monday, the state government said.

Sharing these details in Parliament complex where he met Goyal, the chief minister said that the Union minister for food and public distribution asked the officials present to expeditiously process the case for release of the pending RDF payments for the previous Kharif and Rabi procurement seasons, a statement from the government said, adding that this would financially benefit Punjab by more than Rs 1,700 crore

Mann called on Goyal and discussed various issues of urgent importance with him. During the course of discussion, the Union minister assured the chief minister of prompt action on the other demands raised by the state government, which would result in a financial benefit of more than Rs 2,800 crore for Punjab annually.

In addition to the Rs 1,760 crore RDF payments, the chief minister said that the minister also accepted his request to revisit the decision to peg the reimbursement of interest payments to Punjab at the interest rates available to FCI, the statement claimed.

He said that the Union minister appreciated the stand of the state government that it would never be able to get loans at interest rates available to FCI, which is backed by the sovereign guarantee of the Union.

The minister asked his officials to assist Punjab in getting cheaper Cash Credit Limits for the annual procurement of food grains. This decision is likely to save the Punjab government an unnecessary financial burden of Rs 1,000 crore annually, said the chief minister.

Mann also took up the matter of inadequate reimbursement of expenditure incurred by the Punjab government for procurement of wheat a couple of months back.

The chief minister also assured Goyal that his government will soon show him positive results in crop diversification, which is essential to break the wheat-paddy cycle that has severely impacted the water table in Punjab. PTI