Chandigarh: The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on Tuesday cleared a sum of Rs 18,124.85 crore towards Cash Credit Limit (CCL) for Punjab for the purchase of wheat in the ongoing Rabi marketing season.
With this, the bulk of the total CCL of Rs 21,179.60 crore sought by the state government for the purchase of 130 lakh tonnes of wheat in this season has been released.
The RBI clearance followed persistent efforts of Chief Minister Amarinder Singh, who had been pursuing the matter with the central government for the past several days, according to an official spokesperson.
The spokesperson pointed out that the chief minister's personal intervention in the 2017 Rabi season had led to the RBI enhancing the CCL for the state to Rs 20,683 crore from the previously sanctioned amount of Rs 17,994.21 crore.
The release of the CCL would facilitate the state government in making timely payments to the farmers against the purchases made from them in the current season, which started on April 1 and will culminate on May 31, said the spokesperson.
The central government has fixed the minimum support price (MSP) of wheat at Rs 1,735 per quintal, hiking it by Rs 110 from last year's Rs 1,625 per quintal.
The state government has already made extensive arrangements for smooth procurement, with the chief minister issuing strict directives to the Food & Civil Supplies Department to ensure that the farmers do not face any hassles in the procurement of their grain.
He has asked the Civil and Police Administration to monitor the progress of procurement and lifting of wheat on a daily basis to ensure the completion of the gigantic task within the stipulated time-frame.
The chief minister has also ordered the DGP to ensure strict enforcement of the ban on transport cartels.