New Delhi, March 22 (IANS) Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitely on Wednesday assured Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh that he would direct the RBI to ensure that all arrangements for wheat procurement in the state are in place by March 25.
Jaitley gave the assurance to Amarinder during a luncheon meeting at his residence here.
Amarinder was in New Delhi on Wednesday to seek immediate authorisation and release of Rs 20,683 crore Cash Credit Limit (CCL) from the central government for smooth and timely wheat procurement in the state.
Wheat procurement officially begins from April 1 in Punjab, the Green Revolution state that contributes 50 per cent food grains to the central kitty with just 1.54 per cent of the geographical area.
Amarinder told the central minister that a proposal seeking the CCL had already been sent to the Reserve Bank of India by the Punjab government, which hoped to procure over 100 lakh tonnes of wheat during this season (April-May).
“Jaitley assured the Chief Minister of the Centre’s full cooperation in ensuring that the Punjab farmers do not face problems during grain procurement,” Punjab CM’s Media Adviser Raveen Thukral said.
The Chief Minister had, on Saturday, directed all Deputy Commissioners to monitor the procurement process and ensure smooth and hassle-free procurement of crops in around 1,800 grain market across Punjab.