Chandigarh: The central government has given another blow to Punjab. The Punjab Mandi Board has been plunged into a financial crisis due to the centre’s withholding of rural development funds.

According to sources, the Punjab Mandi Board could not repay the installment of the loan taken from four banks as due to non-release of the Rural Development Fund (RDF) dues by the Government of India.

According to the information, the the union government has not paid Rs 3,200 crore to Punjab government as the RDF for the past three cropping seasons. Due to this, the Punjab Mandi Board has now become a defaulter amid non-payment of installment for the December month.

Punjab Cabinet Minister Meet Hayer and Food Supplies Minister Lal Chand Kataruchak blamed the Centre for the deteriorating situation in the Mandi Board.

They said that the Centre has withheld rural development funds worth crores of rupees and this led to financial crunch to the department.

According to the information received, the then Captain Amarinder Singh government had used funds worth Rs 4,000 crore from the loan amount taken by the Punjab Mandi Board for the loan waiver scheme of the farmers.

The remaining Rs 650 crore was spent on special repair of link roads. The total loan amount of Rs 4650 crore raised by the Punjab Mandi Board has become Rs 5500 crore along with interest.

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