Central team to visit state to settle food payments

Quick Register
User Name:
Human Verification

Go Back   UNP > Chit-Chat > News

UNP Register


Old 30-Nov-2010
Central team to visit state to settle food payments

Chandigarh November 30:

A team of senior officials of the Union Ministry of Food will be visiting Punjab this week to resolve the longstanding disputes, including clearance of pending dues running into thousands of crores of rupees.

The visiting team, to be headed by Joint Secretary RK Garg, will hold meetings not only with the senior functionaries of the Department of Food of the Punjab Government, but also with the top managements of other agencies associated with food procurement, storage and handling.

To pave the way for the settlement of longstanding demands of the Punjab Food Supplies Department, senior functionaries of the regional office of the Food Corporation of India also had a series of meetings with their Punjab counterparts. The Union Food Secretary, Dr Bhushan Chander Gupta, who was also on a visit here, also met the Punjab Chief Secretary, Subodh Chander Aggarwal, to discuss other demands of the state pending before the Union Food Ministry.

Talking to reporters, Dr Gupta, a 1975-batch Punjab-cadre IAS officer, also confirmed the visit of the central team to the state. The central food agencies owe to the state government more than Rs 8,000 crore as cost of procurement, transportation and storage of foodgrains on their behalf. The Punjab Government had been complaining that these costs were not being reimbursed on a regular basis. All that the Punjab food agencies got was ` 15 a quintal on shelling of paddy.

The Punjab Government, however, had been claiming over the years that the cost of transportation of foodgrains from grain markets to the place of storage was not being reimbursed. The shelling charges cover only the transportation of paddy from the place of storage to the rice mill and its subsequent delivery. One of Punjab agencies, Markfed, for example, had been demanding reimbursement of over Rs 2,500 crore incurred on food procurement operations.

Another disputed area between the Punjab Government and the Union Food Ministry had been the payment of administrative charges. The state agencies are responsible for 80 to 90 per cent of the total procurement operations for the central pool. In 2003, the Union Government agreed to pay 2.5 per cent of the total procurement cost of wheat. Nothing was being paid for paddy procurement. In fact, the paddy procurement operation is much bigger than the wheat procurement operation. Most of these issues are likely to be thrashed out during the coming visit of the central team.

Post New Thread  Reply

« Sonia’s faith is her private matter: HC | Amarinder unlikely to win support of sects soon »