The Punjab Cabinet Thursday gave its nod to the custom milling policy for kharif season 2022-23 under which government agencies, such as Food Corporation if India, will be able to procure paddy after getting the crop processed at rice mills.
The cabinet, which met under the chairmanship of Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann, approved ‘The Punjab Custom Milling Policy for Kharif 2022-23’, which stipulates that the designated mills will deliver the rice fetched from paddy stored up March 31, 2023 directly to the FCI.
Addressing media after the meeting, CM Mann said that the mandis in state will be equipped with GPS to track the trucks carrying paddy to the shellers. “This will help stop smuggling in of paddy from other states,” Mann said.
According to a government statement, the milling policy has been prepared for getting the paddy procured by state procurement agencies — Pungrain, Markfed, Punsup and PSWC– converted into custom-milled rice and ensure the delivery of the foodgrain to the central pool.
As per the policy, rice mills will be linked to the procurement centres in time as per the purchase centre allotment list issued by the department and the paddy will be stored at the those rice mills as per their entitlement and agreement executed between the state agencies and the rice millers.
The Kharif Marketing Season (KMS) 2022-23 will start from October 1, 2022 and the procurement of paddy will be completed by November 30.
The state’s food, civil supplies & consumer affairs department issues the custom milling policy every year before the commencement of the kharif marketing season.
PSPCL action plan
The Cabinet also approved the action plan worth Rs 25,237 crore of Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (PSPCL) for adoption and implementation of ‘Revamped Distribution Sector Scheme’ (RDSS)’. The implementation of RDSS will strengthen the distribution system, improve the operational efficiency and financial viability of PSPCL as well as quality and reliability of power supply to consumers.
For moong growers, the Cabinet gave ex-facto approval to relax the quality norms fixed by the Centre for purchase of the pulse. This will enable Markfed — the state nodal agency — to procure more moong at the Minimum Support Price (MSP) of Rs 7,225 per quintal with relaxed norms under state pool during marketing season 2022-23. Farmers whose produce does not meet even the relaxed quality parameters and have to, therefore, sell it in the open market till July 31, will be paid up to maximum Rs 1,000 difference per quintal. This initiative will also be applicable to farmers who have already sold their produce below MSP in open market.
To reduce the risk of natural calamities by initiating mitigation measures, the Cabinet gave its nod to constitute the State Disaster Mitigation Fund .
Remission to lifers
In another decision, the Cabinet also gave approval for sending the application for special remission of convicts/life convicts confined in jails of Punjab to the governor to commemorate the 400th ‘parkash purab’ of ninth Sikh Guru, Guru Teg Bahadur. The Cabinet also gave nod for sending the case for seeking special remission and release of the convicts confined in the jails of Punjab on August 15, 2022 to commemorate the 75th independence day.
MoU with NLSF
To bring greater professional expertise towards building a citizen-centric and forward looking governance eco-system, the Cabinet also gave its nod to ink MoU with Nudge Life Skills Foundation (NLSF) for a period of 27 months. It will help in providing direct feedback and support to the administrative departments thereby enabling them to steer systems reforms through departmental or sub-departmental initiatives in area of technological integration, process innovation, data management, collaborations, strengthen programmes and others.
The Cabinet also accorded its approval to the Annual Administrative Report of the Employment Generation and Training Department for the year 2020-21.