Chandigarh: State Government will review the permission to procure from other states the Basmati Paddy varieties that are not produced in Punjab, assured OP Soni Deputy Chief Minister(DCM) Punjab in a meeting with the Punjab Rice Millers Exporters Association at Punjab Civil Secretariat here today. The meeting was jointly chaired by Finance Minister Manpreet Singh Badal and Food and Civil Supplies Minister, Bharat Bhushan Ashu.
Punjab is a vibrant Agricultural State; the Basmati Rice of Punjab has made a mark at the international level, said DCM assuring the Basmati Manufacturing and Export Units of all support to run their operations seamlessly. He conceded to the demand of the Rice exporters to establish a Rice-Pesticide Testing Laboratory in Amritsar wherein exporters can get pre-purchase sample testing to safeguard refusal of International Basmati Shipments. The lab would be set up at Skill Development Centre, near Guru Nanak Dev University Amritsar. The rice exporters in turn promised to give a premium to farmers who would produce pesticide-free paddy basmati.
"The government will examine the demands of the association in a fortnight and will honor all commitments made to the rice industry as per the letter of law and the intent of the Cabinet'' assured Finance Minister.
The Food and Civil Supplies Minister categorically informed that the department was forced to impose restrictions on the influx of paddy from other states since the mal-practices by the black sheep in the Industry had adversely affected the interests of the farmers and the revenue of the State in the past. However, an officer was deputed to re-look into the genuine demands of the association pertaining to Market fees, Fiscal incentives, and others.