CAPT AMARINDER WRITES TO PASWAN
SEEK WITHDRAWAL OF `UNJUSTIFIED’ VALUE CUT AGAINST WHEAT NORM RELAXATION
Chandigarh: In pursuance of his earlier request to the Prime Minister in this regard, Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Friday wrote to Union Minister of Consumer Affairs, Public Distribution Ram Vilas Paswan, seeking immediate withdrawal of the “unjustified” heavy value cut on farmers in lieu of relaxation in norms due to luster loss and shriveled grain of wheat.
It may be recalled that the Chief Minister had written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on April 28, seeking a review of this decision, to safeguard the interests of state farmers in these difficult times.
Seeking Paswan’s prompt intervention to re-examine the issue of value cut in its entirety to protect the farmers’ income, the Chief Minister termed the imposition of a value cut on the earnings of the farmers for reasons beyond their control as unjustified.
Captain Amarinder Singh apprised the Union Minister about two important issues raised by the State Government during the course of discussion with him – firstly, the relaxation in wheat procurement norms for shrivelled grain/lustre loss, and secondly, the release of administrative and Arhtiya charges, which had been acceded by the Union Ministry. Captain Amarinder further stated that following the discussion, he had directed the officials of the State Food and Civil Supplies Department to follow up with the Ministry on this count.
Thanking Paswan for his Ministry’s approval to release 90% of the withheld charges, the Chief Minister, however, said that he was concerned that the issue of relaxation in norms for wheat without value cut had not been addressed so far. Captain Amarinder further said that, in fact, he had received a communique from the Union Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution on April 28, wherein heavy value cuts have been imposed in lieu of relaxation of norms of lustre loss and shrivelled grain.
“These cuts are completely unreasonable since there were unseasonal rains in the State in March, and the farmers were unable to take preventive measures for saving the wheat crop as a result of lockdown across the country.”