‘Don’t surrender wheat for rice’

Valley flourmill owners threaten agitation against the proposal

GK NEWS NETWORK

Srinagar, Jan 23: The Valley flourmill owners today cautioned the government against “compromising our interests” by surrendering wheat stocks to get more rice quota.
 President Kashmir Flourmill Association, Iqbal Tramboo said the Consumer Affairs and Public Distribution Department (CAPD) is framing a proposal to surrender the wheat quota the Valley gets under Public Distribution System from the centre, and demand enhancement in rice quota to that extent instead.
 Tramboo said if that proposal gets go ahead, “it will destroy the Valley flourmill owners and people working with them.”
 According to sources Kashmir presently gets over 35,000 MT rice per month and 4000 MT wheat/month under PDS.
 “The wheat that comes under PDS is allotted to the flourmill owners for grinding, after which the atta distributed among the consumers through CAPD outlets/fair price shops at subsidized rates.”
 Besides, Tramboo said Valley imports a huge quantity of atta from outside the state. “We are consuming over 10,000 MT/month including the quota coming under PDS and imports from outside the state.”
 Tramboo said the authorities want to surrender the wheat quota without taking into account some facts. “Before thinking about surrendering the wheat, they should take into account the fact that the Valley consumes over 10,000 MT wheat every month. “Besides, this action of the government would render all the flourmill owners idle,” he said.
 Tramboo said if such a proposal is moved by the CAPD, all the flourmill owners will come on roads and handover the keys of their mills to the authorities. “This would be an unjust action which would mar our business interests and render jobless all those people working with us.”
 However, when contacted, Director CAPD Waheed Ahmad Tak said so far no such proposal has been moved.
 When asked if any such proposal is in the offing, he said: “So far no. But should we feel need for doing such a thing, we can do it in the public interest.”
 “Public interest is my first priority. I can compromise the interests of flourmill owners for protecting the interests of the public,” Tak explained.
 He said: “There remains great demand for rice in the Valley. Whenever there is shortage of rice it raises alarm in the Valley which is not the case with the flour/atta,” he said.

Lastupdate on : Sun, 23 Jan 2011 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Sun, 23 Jan 2011 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Mon, 24 Jan 2011 00:00:00 IST




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