During the 10 years long struggle against insurgency, the Punjab Govt. had incurred an expenditure of Rs. 8500 crore on the deployment of security forces in Punjab. The Centre has debited this expenditure on the State.

 However, the Constitution in its Emergency Provisions lays down that it is the duty of the Union to protect the State against external aggression and internal disturbances to ensure that the government of every state carries on in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution.
 During the Ludhiana rally former Prime Minister, P.V. Narsimha Rao announced that the Punjab debt of Rs. 8500 crores would be waived off. Later speaking at a public rally in Ludhiana itself, on July 12,1997 Mr. Gujral said that the debt of 8500 crores was not the burden of Punjab alone but that of the entire nation and must be shared.
 Punjab Chief Minister Mr.  Parkash Singh Badal is vigorously pursuing the waiver. Despite the clear cut Constitutional provisions and prime-ministerial announcements, the Ministry of Finance sent a letter to the Punjab government towards the end of August 1997 mention in  that it cannot waive off the loan and further said that they were deferring its repayment for a certain period.
 The Centre is however, under tremendous pressure from the Government of J & K and Assam for waiving off their loans. Therefore if the loan of the Punjab is waived off, the Centre would have to bear a total of Rs. 20,000 crores i.e. together the debt of three States.
 Sorne bureaucrats however feel that there is no justification in waiving off the loan of these States as it was virtually a section of people who revolted and they need to be penalised. The speculations on these lines are unfortunate in view of the constitutional  provisions.
 Neverthless, for S. parkash  Singh Badal  it has become aprestige issue' as he almosi on every public meeting takes the advance credit of getting the loan waived off. Also the Finance Minisier" has now verbally accepted that the loan would be waived off for the Punjab.
 While the Akali government is claiming that this debt is waived off and have added another crore in honouring the PM, the centre is yet to commit the waiver in writing.
 According to media reports S.S.Mann has demanded that the Govt should make it public how this huge amount was spent. He has also questioned the propriety of spending again the huge amounts in organising thanks giving public rallies "Does the Govt really has some document in its support that the loan is waived off "asks Mr. Mann.  
Share this article :

No comments:

Post a Comment


Punjab Monitor