Punjab urges Centre not to levy interest on ‘unsettled’ CCL dues
The Punjab government has requested the Centre not to levy interest on the ‘unsettled’ outstanding amount of Rs 28,000 crore from cash credit limit (CCL) granted to it during previous procurement seasons.punjab Updated: Aug 25, 2016 11:39 IST
The Punjab government has requested the Centre not to levy interest on the ‘unsettled’ outstanding amount of Rs 28,000 crore from cash credit limit (CCL) granted to it during previous procurement seasons.
The state wants the Union finance ministry to stop levying interest as long as negotiations are on to decide its outstanding amount. A committee, constituted by the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) about six months ago, had calculated the CCL dues of the state. The figure has been challenged by the state government, claiming that almost half of it – roughly Rs 14,000 crore – is interest alone, accrued over the years.
While there have been a few rounds of meetings of officers of Punjab’s food and supplies department and Union finance and agriculture ministries, they have not been able to settle the issue. “If interest keeps accruing, the outstanding amount will increase. We have urged the ministry not to levy interest, to stop further accruals,” an officer of the food and supplies department told HT.
As there is no fixed deadline for settling the outstanding amount, Punjab claims that if the present situation persists for another year, another Rs 2,800 crore would be added to the outstanding amount on account of interest. At the onset of procurement in Kharif season in 2014, the Centre had refused to grant CCL to the state and allowed it only after much persuasion. The Centre had asked the Punjab government to settle the outstanding amount of Rs 42,000 crore of previous years at that time. When the state replied that it had some amount recoverable from the Centre, a part of it was reconciled. Since 2014, the state has been facing difficulty in getting CCL for crop procurement.
STATE GOVT CLEARS CCLs OF 2015
With the Centre tightening the noose, the state authorities seem to have become more diligent. Punjab claim to have cleared CCLs of Rabi and Kharif seasons of 2015. Similarly, the settlement of CCL granted for Rabi crop in 2016 is also in final stages.