AAP seeks Union govt.’s intervention to resolve scarcity of space in Punjab godowns, Bhagwant Mann writes to Paswan

Chandigarh, September 26, 2019 (Yes Punjab News)

Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) state President and Member of Parliament (MP) Bhagwant Mann has sought Union Government’s intervention to sort out the scarcity of space in various government ‘Go downs’ in the state. He urged the government set rolling the process of lifting of paddy from the already choked ‘go downs’, thus facilitating the storage of paddy as it had already started arriving at the designated ‘go downs’.

Mann further added that if the Union and state governments failed to hammer out a lasting solution to the problem on a priority basis, not only the state’s largest sheller industry associated with food processing industry would suffer, but also the farmers, ‘arhtiyas’, transporters and ‘mandi’ labor would have to pay a heavy price for the same, ending up in rendering millions of employees jobless in the aftermath, for which the union and state governments would be summarily responsible.

In a letter to the Union Food and Supplies Minister Ram Vilas Paswan released from the party headquarters in Chandigarh on Thursday, Mann has sought an immediate solution to the problem of storage of paddy in the state which was far too inadequate to meet the requirement.

The AAP MP, in the letter, stated that paddy being the main crop of the state had already started arriving at various go downs in various parts of the state and that the government agencies would start the process of procurement of paddy from October 1, 2019, stating that a large number of farmers and other stakeholders in the state would be left to suffer as there was no adequate space for the storage of paddy for now, adding that the government warehouses were already choked with wheat and rice, leaving a little space for the fresh arrivals.

Bhagwant Mann has, through the letter, brought to the notice of the Union Minister that it was for the first time that the state had faced the storage problem of this magnitude in the state, as only 15 per cent of the total space had been vacated for the storage of rice till date, while the neighboring Haryana had an ample space for the storage of rice, which, Mann alleged, was the fallout of the anti-people policies of the successive governments.

The AAP leader also raised the issue of the flaws in the newly introduced custom rice miller policy by the Government of Punjab, which, he said, was another anti-sheller owners step to add to their woes. Mann said that the state government had set March 31, 2020 for the delivery of rice in the state, saying if the government failed to create enough space for the storage of rice during the stipulated period, the delivery of rice would be difficult to handle.

On the other hand, the Union Government had set a condition of procuring 66 kg of rice per quintal and, if the sheller owners were unable to deliver rice by March 31, 2020 due to inadequate storage space, both the quantity and quality of the produce would be impacted leading to huge losses to the rice sheller owners, demanding it should be reduced from 66 per cent to 62 per cent to keep the sheller industry in pink of health, Mann said.

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