The Fact News Service
Chandigarh, September 22
On directions of the Chief Minister Bhagwant Singh Mann, the Punjab government has devised an online mechanism for issuance of surplus paddy Release Orders (ROs) to eligible rice millers during ensuing Kharif Marketing Season (KMS) 2023-24 beginning October 1st, 2023.
The integration of a fully automated Release Order (RO) module with an online linkage is set to revolutionize operational transparency, efficiency, and accountability. This forward-looking initiative is poised to eradicate any potential for illegal or corrupt practices in procurement operations, all while providing a seamless and convenient system for millers.
Disclosing this here today, the Food Civil Supplies & Consumer Affairs Minister Lal Chand Kataruchak stated that the order of preference for seeking RO would be RO Entitlement (Maximum Allocable Paddy – Free Paddy) followed by Paddy deducted upon levying of equitable Centre-cut and Against Free Paddy Allocation. The application submitted by the miller will be processed automatically through the portal making the entire RO process seamless and hassle-free, the Minister added. Miller would be able to submit application of RO in next category only after exhausting full entitlement in the previous category.
Eligible rice millers would be able to apply for release of ROs from Exclusive RO Mandis from October 1st onwards itself which would be issued in two equal parts. The Department is all set to ensure another flawless procurement experience for our farmers, the Minister added underlining that several key initiatives including introduction of mandatory installation of the Vehicle Tracking System in the vehicles used for transportation of paddy and rice have been undertaken.
To ensure greater transparency and timely lifting of paddy, the Minister underlined that no RO would be issued for quantity more than 25% of total issuable quantity available in a mandi at any point in time and figures for issuable RO quantity during KMS 2023-24 would be based on last year’s numbers.
Under the RO Entitlement category for linked mandis, RO would also be issued in 2 phases beginning October 9. For ROs in remaining 2 categories – Centre-cut; and Against Free Paddy Allocation – full due quantity can be issued in one go for each category.
Millers seeking ROs would be required to deposit a non- refundable Fee @75/- per MT for shifting of paddy from paddy deficient districts; while Fee @Rs.50/- per MT would be levied for lifting of paddy from Paddy Surplus or/and Milling Capacity Deficit Districts, a spokesperson of the Department disclosed. Millers would be required to apply for ROs on the department portal and Release Order issued will be valid for a period of 10 days from the date of purchase of paddy in that Mandi. All approvals for issuance of Release Orders will be online and automatic. No physical request in this regard would be accepted, the spokesperson added.
Department is expected to procure around 182 LMTs of paddy which would be allotted to eligible rice units as per CMP of KMS 2023-24.