Punjab Rice Millers on the path of protest against the custom milling policy
KI Singh/ royalpatiala.in/ Chandigarh
Resentment prevails amongst the Rice Millers of the State against the Custom Milling Policy formulated for Kharif Marketing Season 2019-20 as the State Government is creating pressure upon the millers for the execution of agreement for the storage and custom milling of paddy during KMS 2019-20. A few days ago a meeting of executive body of the Punjab Rice Millers Association was held at Khanna and it was decided that this year millers having milling capacity of 5000 MT or above should not furnish bank guarantee and also convened a convention of the millers of the state on 7th October, 2019 at Windsor Garden, Ferozepur Road, Moga to chalk out the strategy to strengthen the path of agitation as the Food Corporation of India has no space for rice acceptance in the State and the Millers will not be able to undertake the milling as per the time schedule as envisaged in the agreement. On the other hand under the present scenario it will take more than one year to complete the task of milling, whereas penalty charges shall be enforced upon the millers for delayed milling beyond the stipulated date as per agreement.
Association President has disclosed that their association had repeatedly cautioned the Government to initiate steps to create space for the Rice acceptance during KMS 2019-20 otherwise changes should be made in the policy and agreement in such a way that whatever space would be made available by the FCI upto 31st March and 30th June, 2020, the agreements of such quantity of paddy should be got executed. Association has further asserted that it becomes difficult for the millers to deliver custom milled rice in the second week of April due to start of Rabi Season as the FCI staff is involved in the procurement and movement of wheat stocks. So, the State Government should take up the matter with the Central Government to sort out the matter in a rightful manner instead of threatening the millers for allotment by their official machinery. At the same time their pending demands such as settlement of milling bills, refund of levy security and user charges payment @ 7.32 rupees per bag have not been settled.
Association President has appealed to all the millers of the state to reach the venue of the meeting at Moga on 7th October, 2019 to stand unitedly against the high-handedness of the Government. If the state government failed to resolve the issues by the 7th October, 2019 the path of agitation shall be strengthened in a big way and Government shall be responsible for the difficulties to be faced by the business community and the farmers.