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Cong terms resumption of subsidy to GSFC as 'election lollipop'

Cong terms resumption of subsidy to GSFC as 'election lollipop'

New Delhi, Nov 10 (UNI) The Congress on Friday described as an 'election lollipop' the Modi Government resuming to the Gujarat State Fertilizer Chemicals Ltd (GSFC) the subsidy that the Gujarat Government had under the Chief Ministership of Mr Modi, in 2013 'pocketed' despite the then UPA Government earmarking the amount for 55 lakh farmers of the state.

Talking to reporters here, AICC spokesperson Abhishek Manu Singhvi said,'RTI replies now in the public domain have yet again proved how the Modi Government operates when it comes to betraying the trust of millions of farmers of Gujarat. The Congress-led UPA Government had in 2013 earmarked a specific amount meant as a fertilizer subsidy for 55 lakh farmers of Gujarat, but the then BJP Government of Gujarat led by Narendra Modi (as CM) was pocketing the same in the accounts of the Gujarat State Fertilizer Chemicals Ltd (GSFC). When the GSFC was caught pocketing the same, the UPA withdrew the earmarked amount, so that a better method can be devised to transfer the said subsidy.

'In 2014, after forming the Government at the Centre, for three long years (2014-17), Mr Modi forgot about the fertilizer subsidy and carried out business as usual. In the meantime, judicial procedures were also followed and GSFC was found guilty of pocketing the amount of Rs 986.56 crore meant as fertilizer subsidy for Gujarat’s farmers. It is intriguing that instead of following legal procedures, the Modi Government withdrew the case and made an “out-of-court settlement” with GSFC in March this year and agreed to resume the subsidy from that month itself. More significantly, Modi Government is also actively considering paying GSFC the subsidy it withheld from 2013 to 2017. In fact, a part of that outstanding amount – Rs 170 crore – was also released in March. Clearly, the Gujarat elections acted as a definite factor in resuming this ‘subsidy’. '

Posing several questions to the Modi Government in connection with the case, Mr Singhvi asked whether Modi’s Gujarat Government inflated the balance sheets of GSFC by pocketing the subsidy meant for farmers?

He wondered whether the resumption of subsidy to GSFC was to project the ‘success’ and ‘turnaround’ of GSFC as a ‘Vikas Model’ of Gujarat?

'Why did the Central Modi Government resume this subsidy in March? Is it because it wanted to project the ‘success’ and ‘turnaround’ of GSFC as a ‘Vikas Model’ of Gujarat? Why did State owned GSFC agree to an ‘Out of Court Settlement’ with the Union Government, even as they fought the case in courts for 3 long years?' he asked.

Pointing out that in a similar case of malpractice, Congress-UPA Government had also withdrawn subsidy given to another Central PSU, Rashtriya Chemicals and Fertilisers, Mr Singhvi asked as to why was the Modi Government not compensating it for the same?

'Mr Modi, who does not tire to talk about UPA’s schemes of ‘Direct Benefits Transfer’ and appropriate it as ‘his achievement’ – could not even transfer the subsidy to the 55 Lakh farmers of Gujarat? What does it speak about his ‘Kathni' (words) and 'Karni' (action),' he said.

UNI AR AE SHK 1858

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