Conceding demand of the Punjab Rice Millers and Exporters Association, Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal on Wednesday announced to slash the cess levied on the purchase of basmati from 0.25% to 0.1% on account of a dedicated fund for cancer and drug de-addiction treatment (CADA fund) with minimum annual contribution of `50 crore.
A decision to this effect was taken by the chief minister in a meeting with the delegation of the Rice Millers and Exporters Association led by its president Arvinder Pal Singh here at the CMO on Wednesday.
Expressing gratitude to the chief minister for accepting their long-pending demand, the delegation assured Badal that in case during a particular season the total amount of cess levied on the purchase of basmati fell short of `50 crore, the deficit would be voluntarily borne by the association as per their commitment.
Responding to another demand to wave the condition of 200 metre of mix land use along both sides of the Amritsar-Tarn Taran road, the chief minister asked the Punjab Urban Planning and Development Authority to get this issue sympathetically examined before taking a final decision so that the investment in the rice sheller industry is not hampered.
On the pursuance of the chief minister, the delegation agreed to run a 25-bed drug de-addiction centre by their association in the building allotted by the state government in Amritsar. They also agreed to bear the entire cost of medicine, logistics besides hiring manpower, including the requisite doctors and psychiatrists, as per the norms prescribed by the health department.