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Punjab to review permission to procure Basmati from other states

Chandigarh,  The Punjab government on Wednesday assured rice exporters that it would review the permission to procure from other states the Basmati paddy varieties that are not produced in the state.

A delegation of Punjab Rice Millers and Exporters Association met Deputy Chief Minister O P Soni along with two ministers, the state”s Finance Minister Manpreet Singh Badal and Punjab Food and Civil Supplies Minister Bharat Bhushan Ashu, according to an official statement.

The state government has imposed restrictions on the influx of paddy from other states, aimed to check malpractices like sale of paddy, brought at lower rates from outside, at minimum support price here.

According to rice exporters, they were facing problems in bringing basmati paddy from other states for export purposes.

Punjab is a vibrant agricultural state and the Basmati rice of the state has made a mark at international level, said Soni, assuring the Basmati 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 the 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 honour all commitments made to the rice industry as per the letter of law and the intent of the Cabinet,” said Badal. PTI