RBI clears Rs 18,124 cr for Punjab wheat procurement

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Chandigarh, April 10 (IANS) 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,” a Punjab government spokesperson said here on Tuesday.

Wheat procurement officially started on April 1. Bulk of the wheat produce is likely to arrive in the state’s grain markets after April 13 (Baisakhi).

The RBI clearance followed persistent personal efforts of Chief Minister Amarinder Singh, the spokesperson said.

“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,” the spokesperson added.

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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 two-month long procurement season will end on May 31.

As many as 1,835 mandis have been notified for the smooth procurement of wheat, the spokesperson said.

Agrarian state Punjab, known as the ‘Green Revolution’ state, contributes nearly 50 percent food grains (wheat and rice) to the national kitty despite having just 1.54 percent of the country’s geographical area.

–IANS

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