Punjab govt releases Rs 3,248 cr for wheat bought

Chandigarh: Acting swiftly after the validation and extension of the Cash Credit Limit (CCL) for wheat till May 31 in Punjab, the Food and Civil Supplies Department on Wednesday electronically disbursed payments worth Rs 3,248 crore to the accounts of the commission agents/farmers for the wheat procured by them.

According to a press release, an official spokesman of the Food and Civil Supplies Department said that the total payment due for the wheat procured is Rs 12,652 crore out of which payment worth Rs 5,917.39 crore has already been made by the government. Remaining payment is likely to be cleared in a couple of days, said the spokesman. The procurement agencies have been directed to ensure prompt lifting and timely payment to the farmers.

Meanwhile, Food & Civil Supplies Minister Adaish Partap Singh Kairon on Wednesday said that the Reserve Bank of India has revalidated and extended the validity period of the authorisation of Rs 17,523 crore as CCL till May 31 for the wheat crop of the Rabi 2016-17 season in the state.

He said this move would pave a way for the release of balance dues of the farmers, arhtiyas and other stake holders.

The minister said that the state procuring agencies, FCI and private traders have procured 108.29 LMT wheat till date out of which 84.30 LMT wheat stands already lifted. As per Punjab Agriculture Produce Markets Act, the whole procurement has to be lifted within 72 hours of procurement. Going by this norm, the State agencies and FCI have lifted 78 per cent of wheat till date.