The Punjab Rice Millers’ Association today alleged the Union Government was “hell bent in destroying the rice industry” as it was neither permitting the state government to allow millers use the old gunny bags nor initiating movement of foodgrain from godowns. This was causing a space problem for the millers resulting in financial losses to the rice industry as well as the state government.
Nakesh Jindal, press secretary of the association, said 50 per cent of the paddy purchased by the state agencies was yet to be milled due to shortage of gunny bags. He said the Union Food Ministry had written to the FCI authorities not to accept any customised milled rice till February 28. He said the industry was already in crisis due to gunny bag shortage and non-movement of foodgrain and the recent orders had only aggravated the situation.
Moreover, as per the agreement with the government, the millers were supposed to complete the process by March 31, 2021, and if they failed to do so, they would penalised. He urged the Centre and state government to take necessary steps to avoid losses to millers.