The Centre on Tuesday sanctioned a cash credit limit (CCL) of Rs 29,695 crore to Punjab for the procurement of paddy in the Kharif marketing season of 2018-19, according to official sources.
Punjab had raised a demand of Rs 40,300 crore for this season. Chief Minister Amarinder Singh had been pursuing the issue of early release of CCL so as to ensure timely payment to farmers for crops procured by the government agencies.
"The amount has been released by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) for paddy procurement till October (end). The remaining Rs 10,604.60 will be released subsequently," a Punjab government spokesperson said.
The Chief Minister has directed all the state procurement agencies to take immediate steps to ensure prompt lifting of the produce followed by timely release of payments. The State Vigilance Bureau is also keeping a close watch and conducting surprise checks at grain markets across the state to ensure farmers do not face any difficulty in selling their crop.
The Punjab government has made arrangements for a bumper procurement of 200 lakh tonnes of paddy this season. In 2017-18, as much as 179.34 lakh tonnes of paddy was procured, including 176.61 lakh tonnes by government agencies.