The Punjab government’s decision to permit Punjab Infrastructure Development Board (PIDB) to seek a Rs 10,000 crore loan from a private lender against a financial guarantee from the state finance department has been challenged before the Punjab and Haryana High Court.
Taking up a public interest litigation (PIL) filed by Public Helpline Society of Sangrur, the division bench comprising Justices S K Mittal and Mahavir Singh Chauhan on Friday issued notices of motion to the Punjab government and PIDB to file their replies before September 22.
The petitioner association has also sought directions to distribute Punjab Infrastructure Development Board funds as per the procedure laid down under the PIDB Act, 2002, considering that the state government is teetering on the brink of bankruptcy. It has been submitted that the state government is not even capable of meeting its committed expenditure and is unable to make timely payments to employees, pensioners and is already reeling under a whopping debt burden of at least Rs1.25 lakh crore.
The High Court was asked to direct the Punjab government to not guarantee the loan, through its finance department, sought by the Board considering that the outstanding guarantees by state government already add up to Rs 71,374 Crore (anticipated by the state) as on March 31, 2015.