Chandigarh, (Raftaar News Bureau): The Punjab Cabinet on Friday gave approval to release payment of Rs. 36.70 crore to the Punjab Agro Foodgrains Corporation (PAFC) on account of administrative charges for the work done by it during Rabi Marketing Season (RMS) 2019-20.
The approval came during a Cabinet meeting chaired by Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh here this evening through video conferencing.
According to a spokesperson of the Chief Minister’s Office, the said payment would be released, subject to the conditions of the Finance Department, by deducting/recovering the same from the accounts of Pungrain, Punjab State Warehousing Corporation (PSWC) and Markfed, as per the PAFC share in procurement transfer to them from the administrative charges receivable by other procuring agencies for Kharif Marketing Season (KMS) 2019-20.
The procurement share of PAFC during KMS 2018-19 was 10%, which was transferred to Pungrain (4%), Markfed (3%) and PSWC (3%) during KMS 2019-20. Accordingly, the proportionate share of administrative charges for PAFC amounts to Rs. 36.70 Crore.
State agencies that procure foodgrains (wheat and paddy) on behalf of Government of India are paid administrative charges @ 2.5% of MSP of paddy during KMS only. These administrative charges are disbursed when paddy is shelled & rice is delivered to Food Corporation of India, GoI. These funds are utilized by the state agencies during the year for various post procurement expenses, including personnel, custody & maintenance, upkeep of stocks, other administrative expenses etc.
PAFC was allowed as State procurement Agency for the procurement of wheat and paddy in the state by the Food, Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs department. PAFC procured almost 10% of the total paddy procured by the State Procurement Agencies.
To ensure better management of the procurement operations, the State Government had decided before KMS 2019-20 to reduce the number of procurement agencies in the State. Accordingly, Punjab Agro Food Grains Corporation was withdrawn from the procurement of foodgrains in the State vide letter dated July 2, 2019. Therefore, PAFC did not receive any administrative expenses during KMS 2019-20, which adversely affected the various payments by PAFC including custody & maintenance, upkeep of stocks, service of debt, personnel and administrative expenses etc, the spokesperson added.