Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday constituted a high-level committee comprising officers of both the Punjab and the Central Governments to resolve the issues pertaining to procurement of grains especially the Cash Credit Limit (CCL). The committee was set up after the Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal sought Modi’s personal intervention for early resolution of these issues. Badal, who met Modi at his officialresidence at 7 RCR on Wednesday evening, apprised the latter about the problems being faced by the states which carry on the gigantic procurement operations on behalf of the Central Government thereby contributing immensely in the national food security.
However, Badal apprised the Prime Minister that the states were facing large number of problems due to huge gap between the cost incurred by states in this regard and reimbursement made by the central agencies. Earlier in the afternoon, Badal also met the Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and urged him to put in place a permanent mechanism for reimbursing the entire expenditure meted out by state in procuring the food grains for the country. He was accompanied by Punjab Food and Civil Supplies Ministers Adesh Pratap Singh Kairon and Finance Minister Parminder Singh Dhindsa.
Badal, interacting with the media persons after meeting with Jaitley, said that the state government procured the food grains from Punjab for the national pool. “However, there is a vast difference between the expenses incurred by the state and price given by the central agencies,” said Badal, urging the Union Minister to find a permanent solution for this matter so that states do not face any sort of problem.
He also batted for settlement of all previous issues regarding the Cash Credit Limit (CCL) forever so that hard working and resilient farmers of state do not face any sort of problem. Badal expressed hope that all the issues related to the CCL would be solved soon.
Replying to another query, the Chief Minister reiterated the demand of state government to effectively seal the borders of state for checking infiltration in the state. “Punjab being a border state is on high risk due to porous borders…Vigilance on border should be intensified to avoid incidents like Pathankot and Dinanagar terror attacks,” he said.
Badal also said that the Union Government must generously allocate funds for modernization of state Police force.
Taking strong exception on branding of Punjabis as drug addicts, the Chief Minister said that though not even a single ounce of drug was produced in the state, some forces inimical to the state were hell bent upon labeling the Punjabis as drug addicts.
“Punjab is on transit route of drug smuggling, so it is fighting nation's war against drugs,” said Badal adding that the state government has, in fact, launched a vigorous campaign to check drug peddling in the state but certain political parties, with vested political interests, were labeling the entire state as drug addicts.
Terming the SAD-BJP alliance as everlasting and firm, the Chief Minister said that it was a time tested alliance. He said that the Shiromani Akali Dal has always raised struggle against tyranny, oppression and injustice adding Akali Dal had vehemently opposed the imposition of Emergency by the then Congress Government in 1975.