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SAD rejects Cong claims on conversion of CCL gap into loan

twitter-logoPTI | February 22, 2019 | Updated 22:52 IST

Chandigarh, Feb 22 (PTI) Opposition party SAD Friday rejected the claims of the Congress government that the previous SAD-BJP regime converted about Rs 31,000 crore of cash credit limit gap into long term loan on its last day. "No file after the code of conduct came into effect (during 2017 assembly polls), (was signed). Neither my office, I am quite sure that nor the then CM office took any decision on CCL (after code of conduct was announced), Akali leader Parminder Singh Dhindsa said while addressing media in the press gallery of Punjab Assembly here. Dhindsa was the finance minister in the previous SAD-BJP regime. I do not know why they (Congress) were claiming that the file was signed on the last day (of SAD-BJP tenure) let them give the facts so we should know about it, claimed Dhindsa. In the House, the Finance Minister in his speech while presenting state budget for 2019-20 on February 18 had said, "While the previous government inflicted several wounds on the state's fiscal, the unkindest cut of them all was the conversion of Rs 30,584.11 crore of CCL gap into long-term loan on the last day of the previous government. Earlier, the Congress on numerous occasions had claimed that the SAD-BJP regime had signed file relating to converting CCP gap into long term loan on March 10, 2017, a day before assembly poll results. Notably, the food account or CCL gap arose because of the mismatch between cash credit availed for procuring wheat and paddy and foodgrain stocks in the account books of the state procurement agencies since 2004. The Rs 31,000 crore included Rs 12,000 crore principal and around Rs 19,000 crore interest and Punjab has been paying Rs 3,240 crore interest per annum on it which it has to pay for 20 years. Meanwhile, Dhindsa claimed that his party had always demanded that the government of India should bear this financial burden as well. He claimed that with the conversion of long term loan, the financial burden on state procurement agencies eased and they turned into profits. Significantly, the 15th Finance Commission had notified a committee under the chairmanship of Ramesh Chand, who is member of the commission with representatives from the Ministry of Food and Public distribution and Ministry of Finance, Government of India and Chief Secretary, state government to recommend a time bound resolution to the CCL issue that is plaguing the state's finances. PTI CHS VSD MR MR

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