Union finance minister Arun Jaitely has assured Punjab chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh to clear a cash-credit limit (CCL) of Rs 20,683 crore for wheat procurement to the Punjab government by March 25.
Amarinder, who met Jaitley in New Delhi on Wednesday, was told that directions have been issued to the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to ensure all arrangements for wheat procurement. The state government had sent a proposal to the Centre seeking CCL two months back.
Timely procurement was one of the key promises of the Congress during the poll campaign. “I am sure that there would no problem in the release of the CCL because we have squared the CCL taken by Punjab in the previous rabi season which is pre-requisite to get limit for the current season,” said chief principal secretary to the Punjab CM Suresh Kumar, who also accompanied Amarinder and state finance minister Manpreet Badal to Delhi.
Procurement in Punjab would begin from April 1 and state government is expecting arrival of 120 to 125 lakh tonnes of grain in the mandis, out of which state’s five agencies would procure 100 lakh tonnes and the rest would be procured by the Food Corporation of India (FCI).
REWORKING OF TERM LOAN AFTER CABINET APPROVAL
The Punjab government has decided to take up reworking of Rs 31,000 crore term loan with the Centre. Last month, the Centre and state government agreed to convert the mismatch of Rs 31,000 crore of the CCL taken in previous procurement seasons. The principle amount of the term loan is Rs 12,500 crore and Rs 18,500 crore is the interest. “We would take the cabinet’s approval before approaching the Centre,” Suresh Kumar told HT.