Paddy purchase: RBI increases Punjab’s cash credit limit by 3%
The Reserve Bank of India on Monday authorized an enhanced cash credit limit of ??43,297.88 crore in Punjab for the purchase of paddy.
Previously, the state had been granted a cash credit limit (CCL) of ??35,000 crore, which was later upgraded to ??42,000 crores.
In the current season, so far 188.26 tons of lakh paddy have arrived in the mandis for purchase, of which 187.21 tons of lakh have been purchased by the four state agencies – Pungrain, Punsup , Markfed and the state-owned warehousing company – and the Food Corporation of India. The rest, about a lakh ton of paddy, was bought by private traders.
“Versus ??35,600 crore of paddy purchased, we have so far made ??35,211 crore in payments to farmers by crediting the minimum support price to their accounts, ”said an officer with the state’s food and civilian supplies department.
The increase in CCL is also seen as a nod from the Center to relax the paddy purchase ceiling in Punjab, although no formal orders have yet been received.
Prior to the purchase, the Union Ministry of Food and Public Distribution System had capped the purchase of paddy from Punjab at 168.65 lakh ton. However, after arrivals exceeded this limit, the state government sought approval from the Center to relax this cap.
“We still have to get a formal nod (for an increase in paddy purchasing targets). The increase in CCL indicates that the Center has accepted our request, ”Punjab Minister of Food and Civilian Supplies Bharat Bhushan Ashu said. He said the government must also make payments on the accrued charges on the purchase of paddy, which include the cost of labor and transportation and the dami (commission) to the arhtiyas.
As the state government has yet to receive a provisional cost sheet from the Center, labor, transportation and friendliness have yet to be finalized. “We’re waiting for the overnight cost sheet,” said a food service manager. In recent years, the Center used to provide the interim cost sheet to the state government before the start of each supply season.
“We are pushing the Center to send us the estimated cost sheet so that we have a fair idea of the expenses which are authorized to us in addition to the supply,” said the officer. Besides labor, transport and friend, rural development fund and mandi fees are also mentioned in the cost sheet.