Punjab to procure 170 lakh tonnes paddy; goes online for smooth milling operations
Cabinet approves the new Punjab Custom Milling Policy aimed at ensuring seamless milling of paddy and delivery of rice into the Central pool from more than 4,150 mills operating in the state
Chandigarh: Amid the Covid-19 pandemic, all rice delivery operations in Punjab, including allotment, registration and physical verification of rice mills, will be managed and monitored online, under the new Punjab Custom Milling Policy for paddy for the 2020-21 kharif season.
The state cabinet on Tuesday approved the new policy, aimed at ensuring seamless milling of paddy and delivery of rice into the Central Pool from more than 4,150 mills operating in the state. The state is expected to procure 170 lakh metric tonnes (MTs) of paddy during the season beginning on October 1, with a total area under paddy sowing this year at 26.6 lakh hectares. Last year, 29.2 lakh hectares was under paddy cultivation.
www.anaajkharid.in PORTAL LAUNCHED
The state government will launch a dedicated portal, www.anaajkharid.in, for smooth paddy procurement. The whole gamut of yearly procurement operations – from allotment of mills, their registration, application of release order and deposit of fee, besides all important monitoring of stocks, will be done online now on, according to an official spokesperson.
State procuring agencies, including Pungrain, Markfed, Punsup, Punjab State Warehousing Corporation (PSWC) and rice-millers and other stakeholders will operate and interact on the website, with the department of food, civil supplies and consumer affairs acting as the nodal department.
The spokesperson said that under the policy, the sole criterion for allotment of free paddy to mills this season would be the miller’s performance in the previous year (kharif marketing season 2019-20), and an additional percentage-wise incentive would be provided to mills as per their date of delivery of rice against milling of custom-milled paddy, including RO paddy in the previous year.
Mills that had completed their entire milling by January 31, 2020, would be eligible for additional 15% of free paddy milled in 2019-20, as per the policy. Those who had completed delivery of rice by February 28, 2020, would get an additional 10% of free paddy.
ENHANCED BANK GUARANTEE
The government has also enhanced the bank guarantee for security of the stocks and millers will be required to furnish enhanced bank guarantee, equal to value of 10% of acquisition cost of allocable free paddy above 3,000 metric tonnes (MTs), as against 5% on 5,000 MTs last year. “Lowering of the threshold limit for submission of bank guarantee will bring an additional 1,000 mills within the direct monitoring ambit,” the spokesperson said.
In addition, a miller will have to purchase a minimum of 150 MTs of paddy in his own account or deposit an amount of Rs 5 lakh (non-refundable) in state treasury and Rs 5 lakh in the form of refundable security online in Pungrain account.
Another measure to guard against any paddy diversion is the decision to bring RO paddy into the ambit of custom milling security (CMR). Millers will be required to deposit Rs 125 for each MT for every paddy stored or part therefore, including RO paddy, with the agency concerned. To tackle the issue of moisture content in CMR, the policy stipulates compulsory installation of dryer and sortex for a new mill and/or in case of enhancement of capacity. The target is to complete the custom milling of paddy and delivering all due rice to Food Corporation of India by March 31, 2021.