Punjab: Rice millers irked over paddy supply cut

By Surinder Bhardwaj

Rice millers are up in arms against the state government following a directive issued by the Director, Food & Supplies, Punjab, to impose centre cut on the supply of paddy to the millers who went on strike and ‘reward’ those who did not participate in the strike.

Addressing the media, Inderjit Singh Sandhu, district president, Rice Miller Association, and Surjit Sahib, president, Sirhind unit of the association, said the Food and Civil Supply Director has issued a letter regarding lifting of paddy which provides 100 per cent exemption from the centre cut for those millers who did not participate in the strike and continued to lift procured paddy. Those who started lifting paddy from October 19 got 75 per cent exemption from the cut and those who started lifting procured paddy from October 20 were given 60 per cent exemption. They vehemently opposed the directive as it goes against their right of protest for raising genuine demands and termed the order as ‘arbitrary’. They said the directive smacks of ‘favoritism’ and ‘divide and rule’ policy.

The rice millers today submitted a memorandum to the DFSC, demanding withdrawal of the letter and parity in the distribution of paddy. They said the DFSC has assured to talk to the director in this regard.

Notably, the rice millers of the state had gone on strike from October 10 and stopped lifting the procured paddy causing heaps of bags in the mandis and government continued its effort to pressurize the Millers to lift the paddy and few millers fell in the trap of the government and started lifting paddy against the decision of the association.

This article has been republished from The Tribune

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