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AAP MP Sandeep Pathak urges Centre to release pending funds for Punjab

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New Delhi, Dec 11 (IANS) AAP’s Rajya Sabha MP Sandeep Pathak on Monday raised the issue of pending funds for Punjab in the Parliament and appealed to the Central government to release the same.Pathak said that the BJP-led Central government has withheld various funds meant for Punjab, stressing that these funds rightfully belong to the people of Punjab and hence they should be released immediately. “The Centre owes Punjab an outstanding amount of Rs 5,500 crore under the RDF (Rural Development Fund). This fund is utilised for the construction and maintenance of roads in the state’s rural areas and mandis, directly impacting the agricultural sector,” Pathak said.He added that previous governments used these funds for other purposes, leading to the Central government suspending them. “Now, with a new government in place in Punjab, it has been ensured through new laws that these funds are spent solely on mandis and roads in rural Punjab. Hence, the Narendra Modi government should release the same without any delay,” the AAP MP said.He also said that Rs 621 crore under the National Health Mission (NHM) is also pending. “The Central government is refusing to release these funds citing that it’s not meant for Aam Aadmi Clinics,” he said. Pathak also clarified that the NHM funds are not being utilised for Aam Aadmi Clinics in Punjab as the state government has its separate allocation for them. “This money is meant for medicines, medical equipment, and district and sub-district government hospitals. Therefore, the Centre government withholding these funds is inappropriate.“Apart from this, the Central government is withholding Rs 850 crore meant for MDF (Market Development Fund) and Rs 1,800 crore for SAF (Special Assistance Fund). Collectively, this amounts to nearly Rs 8,000 crore, which rightfully belongs to Punjab and its people,” Pathak said.He also said that if the Centre continues to deny Punjab its rightful funds, there will be no option left but to approach the Supreme Court. –IANSaks/arm

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