Of Rs 23,500 crores received by the Punjab government as cash credit limited (CCL) for paddy procurement, Rs 10,000 crores lapsed on October 31. No farmer has been paid for the produce procured from him in the past 10 days.
Officials of food and civil supplies department told HT that first instalment of CCL had a validity of a month. “We have asked the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to send back the lapsed CCL and the second instalment of Rs 4,500 crore for November,” a food department official said. Of 145-lakh tonne paddy procured by five agencies of Punjab, payment for 70,000-lakh tonne grain was pending since October 20. As on November 6, the state agencies owe farmers Rs 13,500 crore and the paddy continues to arrive in mandis. This season the procurement is expected to tough an all-time high of 165-lakh tonne.
AAP to stage protests on Monday
In the wake of farmers awaiting payment for paddy procured by government agencies, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has decided to stage protests in all the main mandis of the state on Monday.
Punjab co-convener of the AAP Jarnail Singh said, “For 10 days farmers have not been paid. They are suffering for no fault of theirs. We have decided to raise the voice in support of the farmers.”
President of AAP’s kisan morcha Gurbinder Singh Kang said dharnas would take place at mandis in every district.