Monday, June 14, 2021

Punjab CM allows use of millers’ premises for stocking paddy during pandemic

To ensure smooth and seamless procurement of paddy during the ensuing Kharif season amid Covid-19, Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Tuesday announced a slew of amendments to the Custom Milling Policy (CMP) 2020-21, including allowing use of miller premises as Mandi yards.

The Chief Minister has approved deletion of clause 12 (j) of the Custom Milling Policy (CMP) 2020-21 for this purpose. The clause deals with those millers who are also commission agents/arhtiyas and, under existing rules, were not allowed to be allotted to the agency for which they were operating as commission agents.

The move will help ensure staggered procurement, thus preventing crowding of the Mandis during the pandemic, according to an official spokesperson. The decision was taken by the Chief Minister on the basis of a proposal of the Food & Civil Supplies Department, after examining the concerns and issues raised by the Punjab Rice Industry Association in its representation.

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The Chief Minister has also given the nod for certain other amendments in the provisions of Custom Milling Policy for Kharif 2020-21, including restoration of the Bank Guarantee clause, maximum permissible allocable RO quantity, and sale of existing mills.

With the go-ahead to restoration of the Bank Guarantee Clause included in CMP 2020-21 Policy to previous year’s provisions, the required bank deposit percentage will come down to 5% from the existing 10%. This will not have any financial bearing on the state exchequer as the bank guarantee acts as a countervailing measure only, said the spokesperson.

Under the amended rules, the miller shall now have to submit a bank guarantee to the concerned agency before the actual storage of paddy in his/her premises, equal to the value of 5% of acquisition cost of allocable free paddy above 5000 MT. The bank guarantee shall be released on delivery of due rice to FCI.

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Conceding a demand of the Rice Millers Association, the Chief Minister has also okayed amendment to Clause 10 (b) (i) (8) of CMP 2020-21 to the extent that “In case of more than 50 percent change in ownership/partnership it will be only considered as a new mill for the sake of registration and there will be no reduction in entitlement of maximum allocable paddy, provided all the conditions for setting up of new mill are fulfilled as per prevailing policy.”

Additionally, the extent of maximum permissible paddy under RO scheme has also been resorted to the Custom Milling Policy (CMP) 2019-20 i.e. upto 3000 MT-1875 MT, above 3000 MT but less than equal to 4000 MT-2500 MT, above 4000 MT but less than equal to 5000 MT-3750 MT, above 5000 MT but less than equal to 6000 MT-5000 MT and above 6000 MT-6250 MT, the spokesperson added.

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