To protect the interests of the Punjab’s farmers, the state’s BJP unit chief Sunil Jakhar on Tuesday urged the Centre to resolve all the genuine demands of the paddy industry and farmers by engaging all the stakeholders.
Calling upon the Union minister for food and public distribution, Piyush Goyal, in the national capital, Jakhar along with BJP national general secretary Tarun Chugh apprised the minister about the concerns of the industry about the minimum export price (MEP) restriction on basmati and its likely impact on the income of the farmers.
Goyal assured Jakhar of cooperation and assistance by the Centre to the farmers and the rice industry. He also asked the officials concerned to look into the genuine demands of the industry on priority, saying that the MEP cap of $1,200 per tonne on basmati was a temporary measure and due relief required would be extended to the rice exporters.
Regarding the issue of failure of fortified rice kernel samples, Jakhar asked the Union minister to consider evolving a mechanism where all the blame for failed rice samples did not fall on the millers. Jakhar, however, appreciated the Union food department for its efforts to continuously enhance the quality of lab testing.
Jakhar was also accompanied by representatives of several rice millers associations, who had approached the senior leader for the redressal of their concerns.
Rice millers procure fortified rice kernels from the government authorised private manufacturers, and the only thing that the rice millers can be held liable for is ensuring the proper blending ratio of fortified rice kernels with the custom milled rice (CMR).
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This article has been republished from The Times of India