Chandigarh, Mar 31 (PTI) With wheat procurement set to commence tomorrow, Punjab, the food bowl of the country, is still awaiting the release of the Cash Credit Limit (CCL) for the purchase of crop.
However, the other arrangements for the procurement of the winter crop in 1,830 mandis have been made, an official said.
“CCL has not been released yet but we are expecting it any day. The issue is pending with the RBI,” said a senior official of Punjab Food and Civil Supplies department said today.
The wheat procurement for the Rabi Marketing season 2017-18 will start tomorrow with Punjab making arrangements for the smooth procurement of 125 lakh metric tonne of the crop.
The new Congress-led Punjab government will face first procurement season after formation and has promised smooth and hassle-free procurement of the farmers’ produce.
Notably, Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh met Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in Delhi on March 22 in connection with wheat procurement arrangements.
Amarinder had sought immediate authorisation and release of Rs 20,683 crore Cash Credit Limit (CCL) from the central government for smooth and timely wheat procurement in the state.
Then FM had assured Amarinder that he would direct the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to ensure that all arrangements for wheat procurement in the state are in place by March 25.
A proposal seeking the CCL had already been sent to the Reserve Bank of India by the state government.
Notably, previous SAD-BJP regime had faced wrath for the delay in the release of CCL on many occasions over the mismatch between value of physical stocks of foodgrain and money spent through CCL for buying wheat and paddy.
Meanwhile, an official of Punjab food and civil supplies department today said, “We have made all the arrangements for the procurement of 125 lakh MT of wheat crop.
Although the arrivals are expected lesser than 125 lakh MT.” “Every grain of the farmer will be purchased,” he said.
Last year, 108 lakh MT of wheat was purchased for the central pool.
The state government had already directed all DCs to personally monitor the procurement process and ensure smooth and hassle-free procurement of the farmers’ crop.
The state mandi board has been directed to provide all basic amenities and facilities in the mandis, in addition to smooth and timely payments.
This is published unedited from the PTI feed.