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Govt approves cash credit to Punjab for food procurement

This Proposal Of Department Of Expenditure Was Approved By Prime Minister Under Rule 12 Of (Transaction Of Business) Rules, 1961 On January 2, 2017, An Official Statement Said.

PTI | Updated on: 07 Mar 2017, 11:12:47 AM

New Delhi :

The Cabinet on Monday gave its consent over settlement of legacy food cash credit accounts (up to crop season 2014-15) of Punjab government for food procurement operations.

This proposal of Department of Expenditure was approved by Prime Minister under Rule 12 of (Transaction of Business) Rules, 1961 on January 2, 2017, an official statement said.

It further said that early settlement of legacy issues will help the banks in disbursement of food credit in the larger interest of numerous farmers of the state and uninterrupted continuity in food procurement operations to ensure food security for the nation.

Settlement of outstanding Cash Credit Limits (CCL) account by availing term loan by the Punjab government would entail savings in terms of interest payment, the statement said, adding “this will create additional resource enabling Punjab government to undertake capital expenditure.”

The outstanding amount in Cash Credit Accounts of Punjab up to Kharif Marketing Season 2014-15 amounting to about Rs 31,000 crore shall be converted into a term loan.

It will be repayable in half yearly instalments over a period of 20 years with the option for pre-payment. The terms and conditions of the loan shall be as prescribed by the RBI and the lending banks, the statement added.

Noting that the 14th Finance Commission has prescribed the fiscal roadmap for each state for its award period 2015-20 and anchored their fiscal deficit to an annual limit of 3 per cent of states’ gross state domestic product (GSDP), the statement said, “The above term loan proposed to be extended to Punjab government in current financial year... will not be counted in the fiscal deficit limit of Punjab government in 2016-17.”

The statement said that after the conversion of legacy accounts in long-term loan, the government of Punjab may issue bonds for the purpose of paying back the loan.

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“This will be subject to the approval of consortium of banks and RBI. The GoI consent will be issued for swapping of loan in the same year of issue of bonds,” it said.

The statement pointed out that Punjab government shall enter into a tripartite agreement with Government of India (GoI) and RBI irrevocably authorising the GoI to deduct, in case Punjab government fails to make any payment towards principal or interest of the term loan on due dates, such defaulted amount from the state’s share in central taxes and pay the same to SBI consortium. 

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First Published : 07 Mar 2017, 10:56:00 AM

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Punjab Cash Credit Limits