Paddy procurement: RBI hikes Punjab’s cash credit limit by 3%

Published on Nov 29, 2021 09:45 PM IST
The Reserve Bank of India on Monday allowed an enhanced cash credit limit of 43,297.88 crore for paddy procurement in Punjab
Earlier, the Punjab government was allowed a cash credit limit of <span class='webrupee'>₹</span>35,000 crore, which was later enhanced to <span class='webrupee'>₹</span>42,000 crore. (ANI Photo)
Earlier, the Punjab government was allowed a cash credit limit of 35,000 crore, which was later enhanced to 42,000 crore. (ANI Photo)
By, Chandigarh

The Reserve Bank of India on Monday allowed an enhanced cash credit limit of 43,297.88 crore to Punjab for purchase of paddy.

Earlier, the state was allowed a cash credit limit (CCL) of 35,000 crore, which was later enhanced to 42,000 crore.

In the current season, 188.26 lakh tonne paddy has arrived in the mandis for procurement so far, out of which 187.21 lakh tonne has been purchased by the four state agencies — Pungrain, Punsup, Markfed and state warehousing corporation — and the Food Corporation of India. The remaining, around one lakh tonne paddy, was purchased by private traders.

“Against 35,600 crores worth of paddy purchased, we have so far made 35,211-crore payments to the farmers by crediting the minimum support price into their accounts,” said an officer of state’s food and civil supplies department.

The hike in CCL is also being seen as the Centre’s nod to relax the cap on paddy purchase in Punjab, though no formal order has been received yet.

Ahead of the procurement, the Union ministry for food and public distribution system had capped paddy purchase from Punjab to 168.65 lakh tonne. However, after the arrivals exceeded this limit, the state government sought the Centre’s nod to relax this cap.

“We are still to get a formal nod (for increase in paddy purchase targets). The increase in CCL indicates that the Centre has agreed to our demand,” said Punjab food and civil supplies minister Bharat Bhushan Ashu. He said the government has to make payments on accruals on the paddy purchase as well, which include labour and transportation charges and dami (commission) to arhtiyas.

As the state government was still to receive a provisional cost sheet from the Centre, the labour, transportation and dami are yet to be finalised. “We are expecting the cost sheet any day now,” said a food department officer. In recent years, the Centre used to provide the provisional cost sheet to the state government before the start of every procurement season.

“We are pushing the Centre to send us the provisional cost sheet so that we should have a fair idea on what expenditure is allowed to us over and above the procurement,” said the officer. Other than labour, transportation and dami, rural development fund and mandi fee is also mentioned in the cost sheet.

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Gurpreet Singh Nibber is an Assistant Editor with the Punjab bureau. He covers politics, agriculture, power sector, environment, Sikh religious affairs and the Punjabi diaspora.

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