Foodgrain procurement: Centre agrees to release pending payment of Rs 950 crore to Punjab
The amount will come as a big relief to the cash-strapped state government. Officials said the Centre has agreed to release 50% of the pending payment immediately and the remaining 50% at a later stage.punjab Updated: May 17, 2018 15:19 IST
The Centre has agreed to release the pending payment of Rs 950 crore to Punjab in two equal installments for expenses incurred on transportation and purchase of gunny bags for foodgrain procurement.
An assurance in this regard was given to Punjab food and civil supplies minister Bharat Bhushan Ashu, who called on Union minister for consumer affairs, food and public distribution Ram Vilas Paswan in New Delhi on Wednesday.
The amount will come as a big relief to the cash-strapped state government. Officials said the Centre has agreed to release 50% of the pending payment immediately and the remaining 50% at a later stage.
Principal secretary, food and civil supplies, KAP Sinha told HT that the pending amount mainly pertains to value-added tax (VAT) paid by the state on certain purchases it had made for procurement of gunny bags and expenditure made on transportation.
Bhushan said during the Central pool procurement operations, the state government and its agencies had to suffer a loss of Rs 1,100 crore for paddy and Rs 300 crore for wheat every season.
According to an official spokesperson, Paswan asked Ashu to push through construction of silos for wheat storage and expressed satisfaction over the progress of implementation of “end-to-end” computerisation of distribution of wheat under the National Food Security Act.