CCL only after state clears previous years’ account: RBI - ECAS Punjab

CCL only after state clears previous years’ account: RBI

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Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 21

Even as the ‘saathi’ (early variety of paddy) has started arriving in mandis in the Majha region, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has not yet sanctioned the Cash Credit Limit (CCL) of Rs 35,500 crore to buy 170 lakh tonnes of paddy expected to arrive in the state’s mandis.

The reason: RBI wants the state to round off the earlier availed CCL for buying wheat in the rabi marketing seasons of 2018-19, 2019-20 and this year, and the rice stocks from 2019. The foodgrain stocks, worth Rs 2,000 crore, lying in the state are to be liquidated immediately for the accounts of the previous years to be settled. Only then the CCL can be granted for buying produce.

Officials in Punjab Food and Supplies Department told The Tribune that the Centre had failed to lift the wheat stocks and pay the state. “While 30 lakh metric tonnes (LMT) of stocks from 2018-19, 33 LMT from 2019-20 and 86 LMT of wheat from this year are yet to be lifted, another 68 LMT of rice, too, has not been lifted and moved by the FCI,” a senior officer said.

It may be mentioned that for each crop marketing season, the RBI gives a CCL to the state to buy the foodgrains for the Centre. While the Centre pays for the purchase of wheat only after lifting the stocks, the payment for rice is made after paddy bought from the CCL is first milled and rice stocks are delivered.

When contacted, Food and Supply Minister Bharat Bhushan Ashu, said the government was taking up the matter with the Union Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution. “We have urged the ministry to ask the RBI to grant us an extension for squaring off the previous years’ CCL, as the delay on lifting the stocks is on the part of the Centre. The issue is being taken up at the highest level, and we are sure to get the CCL by the time the paddy procurement begins officially on October 1. Last year, too, Punjab had got an extension for settling the previous accounts till September 30,” he said.

from The Tribune

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