Amidst the raging controversy over the state’s mounting debt and unremitting tussle between the state’s two top leaders, Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann on Sunday asserted that the State Government will provide Governor Banwarilal Purohit with a detailed account of the money spent from the state's borrowed funds. At the same time, Mann raised questions about the Governor's lack of inquiry into previous governments' borrowing practices.
Notably, Chief Minister Mann and Governor Purohit have been at loggerheads with each other over a slew of issues with the state’s mounting debt and its utilization being thje latest. Purohit had recently requested information from Chief Minister Mann regarding the utilization of more than Rs 50,000 crore borrowed by the State Government.
Mann, speaking at an event after the launch of the Rs 550 crore ‘Sehatmand Punjab’ Mission on Monday, confirmed that the response to the Governor's query would be sent on Tuesday.
He pointed out that while the Governor asked about the expenditure of the recent Rs 50,000 crore, he had not sought similar details from previous governments regarding their borrowing of Rs one lakh crore to Rs 1.50 lakh crore and its allocation.
“We have been asked (by the governor), and we have a reply. We will provide him with an account of the Rs 50,000 crore that we used to repay Punbus’ debt and paid interest on old loans. We have accounted for every penny,"” Mann emphasized.
The previous month, the Chief Minister had urged the Governor to take up the matter of the pending Rural Development Fund (RDF) amounting to Rs 5,637.40 crore with the President and the Prime Minister. However, in his response, Governor Purohit indicated that he had learned that Punjab's debt had increased by approximately Rs 50,000 crore during the AAP regime and requested details about the utilization of this “significant amount” so that he could assure the Prime Minister that the funds were properly utilized.