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Punjab Vidhan Sabha passes resolution against Centre for not releasing Rs.3622.40-CR of RDF

Chandigarh : The Punjab Vidhan Sabha on Tuesday passed a resolution against the Central Government for not releasing the Rural Development Fee (R.D.F.) amounting to Rs. 3622.40 crores for the last four seasons. The official resolution was moved by Punjab Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Minister S. Gurmeet Singh Khuddian on the concluding day of the two-day Punjab Assembly Session. After discussion in the house, the resolution was passed. Notably, the Rural Development Fee (RDF) and the Market Development Fee (MDF) at the rate of 3 per cent of the Minimum Support Price (MSP) of the wheat and paddy crop was supposed to be released by the Centre. Describing the Centre’s move arbitrary and intimidating, S Gurmeet Singh Khuddian said that Chief Minister S Bhagwant Mann led Punjab Government will fight tooth and nail against the step-motherly treatment being meted to Punjab by union government. RDF is a legal right of the state, he reiterated. Recalling those days of 1962 when on the one call of then Prime Minister Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru, Punjabis had put everything on stake including quintals of Jewellery and Crores of Rupees to bring out the country from crisis. The Centre Government must remember the unparalleled contribution of Punjab in freedom struggle and in making the country self-reliant in food. The resolution said, "Due to non-release of Rural Development Fee (R.D.F.) for the last four seasons (KMS 2021-22, RMS 2022-23, KMS 2022-23 & RMS 2023-24) by the Government of India, the rural development works of the State of Punjab are being adversely affected. The Punjab Vidhan Sabha strongly condemns that despite the requisite amendments in the Punjab Rural Development Act, 1987, as directed by Government of India, being passed by this August House and consequent notification published in the official gazette by the present State Government on 18.07.2022, Government of India has not yet released the withheld amount of Rs. 3622.40 Crores towards Rural Development Fee @3% accumulated for the last four seasons on agricultural produce bought from the State of Punjab.” The Agriculture Minister said that the State of Punjab has created huge market infrastructure unparalleled to any other State. The R.D.F. is utilised solely for the welfare of farmers of the State and development of rural infrastructure including maintenance and creation of rural mandis and rural link roads for enabling easy access in transporting agricultural produce to the nearest mandis. Thus, due to non-release of Rural Development fee by the Government of India, all the rural developmental activities in Punjab have come to a halt. The House also recommended to the State Government to approach the Central government for the release of withheld Rural Development Fee amounting to Rs. 3622.40 crores immediately so as to continue with the uninterrupted developmental activities for the welfare of farmers and rural population of the State of Punjab.

Punjab Vidhan Sabha passes resolution against Centre for not releasing Rs.3622.40-CR of RDF
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