Tribune News Service
Patiala, January 15
Former Punjab Minister Navjot Singh Sidhu blamed the National Democratic Alliance government under Prime Minister Narendra Modi for Food Corporation of India’s rising debts and its current weakened state.
Sidhu, who was part of the Punjab cabinet until his fallout with Congress chief minister Amarinder Singh, attributed the FCI’s attrition to the government’s policy of poor allocation.
FCI was set up in 1965 primarily as an instrument to help move buffer stock of crops into the Public Distribution System.
“It has now been killed with the clear intention to help rich corprates,” he said
FCI’s debt, he said, stood at Rs 91,000 crore from the time it was set up to 2014. “It has now gone up to 4 lakh crore,” he said.
This, he said, was mainly because its expenditure exceeded its allocation.
“The reason for rising debts is that only half of allocations are now given to FCI. Rs 1,84,000 crore was allocated and was curtailed further by 20 to 30 percent last year. That is how FCI is getting progressively worse. Now FCI has to take loans from the National Small Savings Fund which controls savings of farmers, provident fund, small saving certificates of poor people,” he said.
“The Finance Commission of India tells states not to take loans from the National Small Savings Fund as the interest rate is high,” he said.