CHANDIGARH/NEW DELHI: The Centre has declined the demand of Punjab Government regarding DBT scheme for wheat procurement.

This was stated here by a Group of Ministers from Punjab, who called on Union Food & Civil Supplies Minister Mr. Piyush Goyal to get the decision of DBT and online land record for payments scrapped. The delegation was comprised of Punjab’s Food & Civil Supplies Minister Mr. Bharat Bhushan Ashu, Finance Minister Mr. Manpreet Singh Badal, Public Works Minister Mr. Vijay Inder Singla, Mandi Board’s Chairman Mr. Lal Singh and Principal Secretary Food & Civil Supplies Mr K.A.P. Sinha.

Giving details about meeting Mr. Bharat Bhushan Ashu said that the group of ministers held detailed discussions with the Union Minister regarding wheat procurement in a congenial manner. Mr. Ashu also apprised that the Centre had postponed the decision of online land record, to make payments to farmers, for six months.

Referring to the issue of DBT, Online Land records, Mr Ashu pointed out that besides these issues detailed deliberations were held in the meeting pertaining to Rural Development Fund, early release of funds to Punjab under various schemes by the Government of India and lifting of its food grains stock by Centre from Punjab. He also stated that the Punjab had urged the Union Minister to release the remaining amount under Rural Development Fund. On seeking the utilisation of funds released under this scheme, the Punjab Ministers apprised Mr. Goyal that all the funds released earlier had been spent as per provisions. They also urged that an audit could be conducted but the Union Minister asked to resubmit the report relating to funds incurred under RDF after that the balance two percent amount would also be released.

The Union Minister also assured the Group of Minister for release of pending funds of Punjab towards Centre shortly.

Mr. Ashu mentioned that a meeting with Arthiyas would be held on April 9 amid present context to explore the new mechanism on the said issues.

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