Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh is likely to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in New Delhi and urge them to increase the state’s borrowing limit to enable it to implement the farm debt waiver scheme, officials said on Sunday. The chief minister, who will visit Delhi on Monday, is also expected to take up the Sutlej-Yamuna-Link (SYL) canal issue and demand special incentives, on the lines of the hill states, for the border areas of Punjab.
“Amarinder will reach Delhi tomorrow evening and is likely to meet the prime minister and the finance minister the next day,” a Punjab government official said.
The implementation of the farm loan waiver scheme is the top priority of the Congress government. Amarinder would urge the Centre to relax the Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management Act 2003 and enhance the state’s borrowing limit to enable it to meet its agriculture debt waiver commitments, the official said.
The Punjab government wants the Centre to increase the state’s borrowing limit by Rs 10,000 crore to fund the debt waiver scheme.
The chief minister is also expected to raise the SYL issue during the meeting.
Punjab has been pressing for resolving the contentious SYL issue through negotiations. The state had earlier appealed to the Centre to facilitate dialogue with Haryana for early resolution of the matter.
The Supreme Court had on July 11 said it was obligatory on the part of Punjab and Haryana to respect and execute its orders on the SYL canal issue.
The apex court will hear the matter on September 7.