Ruchika M Khanna
Tribune News Service
Chandigarh, October 27
The Union Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution has placed the utilisation of Rural Development Fund (RDF) under scrutiny, saying it will not be paying this fee amounting to Rs 1,000 crore for the custom milled rice this year.
In a letter to the state regarding provisional rates of milled rice and gunny bags, the ministry said: “Matters related to deductions from the MSP made by the state and the utilisation of the RDF are under scrutiny.” The ministry has not included the RDF while calculating incidental charges to be paid to the state. In another letter, the ministry observed that the fund was being misused. Punjab Food and Civil Supplies Minister Bharat Bhushan Ashu said he would write to the Centre and seek justification for stopping the RDF payment.
Flags its ‘misuse’
- Punjab gets Rs 1,000 crore each year as 3% RDF for procuring paddy, Rs750 cr for wheat
- The fund is used for the creation and maintenance of rural infrastructure in and outside mandis
- Observing that the fund is being diverted, the Centre has sought information on its utilisation