Badal seeks early release of border funds

August 25th, 2011 - 8:06 pm ICT by IANS  

P. Chidambaram Chandigarh, Aug 25 (IANS) Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal Thursday sought the intervention of union Home Minister P. Chidambaram for the release of a grant of Rs.62.50 crore for the development of border areas in Punjab, a state government spokesman said here.

Badal, who met the home minister in New Delhi Thursday, said the funds for the border areas were meant for upgradation of power, road connectivity, water supply and sanitation in areas along the international border.

Punjab has a 553-km-long border with Pakistan. The entire border in the state is fenced with electrified barbed wire.

Badal said that the grants for border areas had not been released by the central government so far.

According to the spokesman, Badal also sought early clearance from the home ministry to the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to enable the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) to repay a loan worth $2 million taken by the National Gurdwara in Washington DC, US.

The chief minister asked the home minister to urgently take up the matter with the ministry of external affairs so that the SGPC could take possession of the gurdwara, located near the White House.

The SGPC has decided to take possession of the National Gurdwara in Washington DC as the local management there could not repay a loan taken by them. It had sought RBI permission to transfer funds to the US to repay the loan and protect the property.

Badal pointed out that the lenders have threatened to auction the gurdwara property if the loan was not paid immediately. He said that if this happens, this will seriously hurt the religious sentiments of not only the NRI Sikhs but also the Sikh community in India.

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