Punjab: To revive sick units, recover dues, govt clears settlement plan for rice millershttps://indianexpress.com/article/india/punjab-to-revive-sick-units-recover-dues-govt-clears-settlement-plan-for-rice-millers-6001408/

Punjab: To revive sick units, recover dues, govt clears settlement plan for rice millers

The scheme, aimed at ensuring seamless milling of paddy and smooth delivery of rice to the central pool from more than 4,000 mills operating in the state, would be followed by state procuring agencies.

The sole criterion for allotment of free paddy to mills during kharif marketing season 2019-20 would be the miller’s performance in the previous year.

The Punjab government on Monday approved the Dues Recovery and Settlement Scheme 2019-20 to revive sick rice mills. The scheme is aimed at recovering Rs 2,041.51 crore outstanding against defaulting rice millers.

A decision to this effect was taken in a cabinet meeting chaired by Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh Monday.

An official spokesperson later said that defaulting rice millers, up to and including crop year 2014-15, shall be eligible to take benefit of this scheme. However, the scheme excludes defaulters who had availed the ‘One Time Settlement’ scheme of September 2017, the spokesperson said.

“The defaulters would have the option to pay the total recoverable amount, which is the principal recoverable plus 10 per cent simple interest per annum, within 30 days from the date of issue of ‘Quantification for Settlement Letter’. They can also choose to pay 50 per cent of the total recoverable amount within 30 days and the balance within 60 days from the date of issue of ‘Quantification for Settlement Letter’ with 6 per cent interest,” the spokesperson said.

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Further, 25 per cent of the recoverable amount can be paid within seven days from the date of issue of ‘Quantification for Settlement Letter’, with another 25 per cent within 60 days with 10 per cent interest. The third installment of 25 per cent amount would be payable within 90 days with 12 per cent interest and the balance in 120 days with 15 per cent interest.

A detailed Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for settlement of claims under this scheme would be issued by Director Food & Supplies. The letter for the Final Settlement of account shall be issued by Controller Food Accounts (CFA) after the receipt of 100 per cent of the payment from the miller and completion of all the formalities of the SOP.

A miller against whom decree or arbital award has been passed and its execution proceedings are going on shall also be covered under this scheme, only on the recommendation of the concerned district committee that the recovery of the amount is not possible through execution, sale of assets or as arrears of land revenue.

Milling policy approved

Meanwhile, the Cabinet also approved custom milling policy for paddy (kharif 2019-20) with more security provisions, including criminal penalty for diversion of rice.

The scheme, aimed at ensuring seamless milling of paddy and smooth delivery of rice to the central pool from more than 4,000 mills operating in the state, would be followed by state procuring agencies.

The sole criterion for allotment of free paddy to mills during kharif marketing season 2019-20 would be the miller’s performance in the previous year.

Mills, which had completed their milling by January 31, 2019, would be eligible for additional 15 per cent of free paddy, the spokesperson said, adding that those who had completed delivery of rice by February 28, 2019 would get an additional 10 per cent of free paddy.

The miller would be required to purchase a minimum of 150 MTs of paddy in his own account or deposit Rs 5 lakh non-refundable and Rs 5 lakh refundable security in lieu of the same. If a miller is an owner/partner of more than one mill, and it comes to notice at any stage that only one mill was being used to mill paddy and deliver rice on behalf of his other mills, all such mills would be blacklisted. The newly established rice mills shall be allocated 2500 MTs of paddy for 1 tonne capacity with subsequent allocation of additional 500 MTs of paddy for every additional tonne of capacity, subject to maximum allocation of 5000 MTs.

Cabinet decides to disinvest PSIDC stake in PACL

Seeking to generate around Rs 50 crore, the Punjab government has decided to disinvest 90,90,000 shares of Punjab State Industrial Development Corporation (PSIDC) in Punjab Alkalies and Chemicals Limited (PACL). The decision was taken in a cabinet meeting chaired by Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh.

The amount realised from the move would be utilised to pay debt of PSIDC. “The company had been incurring heavy losses since 2009-10, with its net worth going in the red and PACL became a sick company,” an official statement said.

PSIDC had invested a sum of Rs 30.45 crore into equity capital of PACL by way of initial public issue and rights issue (subscribed on premium). The equity share holding of PSIDC in PACL was around 42 per cent, which has now reduced to around 33.49 per cent due to restructuring of debt liabilities of financial institutions and public sector banks.

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The Directorate of Disinvestment would initiate the process of disinvestment of PACL, a public limited company formed under the Companies Act, 1956, which commenced operations in January 1984 at two manufacturing units located at Naya Nangal and Ropar, the statement said.