Haryana rice millers end strike

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, Karnal
  • Updated: Oct 01, 2015 17:38 IST
A farmer with his unsold paddy produce at the new grain market in Karnal during the rice millers’ strike. (HT FILE PHOTO)

Sensing unrelenting mood of the state government, the Haryana Rice Millers and Dealers Association (HRMDA) on Wednesday announced to end its four-day-old strike with immediate effect.

Association office-bearers said that no pre-condition was laid by them for withdrawing the strike.

“Our delegations met the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) legislators in Ambala and Kurukshetra districts where it was assured that the Haryana government would consider our demands patiently. We are convinced by the assurance and decided to start paddy purchase for the government,” HRMDA general secretary Jitender Kumar told HT on Wednesday evening.

Millers were on the war path to press for their demands, including revocation of central sales tax (CST) and recovery by the excise and taxation department. Relaxation in moisture norms during purchase of paddy was among their other demands.

After a meeting with the additional chief secretary, food and civil supplies, SS Prasad here on Monday, the association had refused to accept the official assurance of finding appropriate ways to look into their demands.

HRMDA had then categorically announced to boycott paddy purchase for the government till their demands were accepted.

Government buys non-basmati varieties for distribution to the poor families under the public distribution system (PDS).

Refusing to accepts terms and conditions of the association, Prasad had said on Monday that the government would rope in rice exporters for custom rice milling.

“Chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar had a meeting lasting more than four hours where it was agreed that the state government would agree to work on the fair demands and suggestions. Later, a meeting with the food and supply minister and secretary-level talks were held to find a solution, but only a small section of the millers were opposed to the deliberations,” Prasad had told reporters on Monday.

However, as the state government did not show any signs of holding further talks, the millers met the BJP legislators at various places and offered to withdraw agitation.

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