The Punjab government on Wednesday,18th June  said that it has decided to slash the cess levied on the purchase of basmati from 0.25 to 0.10 per cent.

The money collected through this cess is meant for noble cause and contributed for cancer and drug de-addiction treatment (CADA) fund.

The latest move is aimed at encouraging the State’s food processing industry, while trying to discourage the cultivation of the water-intensive non-basmati paddy as part of the Government’s crop diversification programme, said D.V. Kapoor, General Secretary of the Punjab Rice Millers Association.

Also, it would help bring in more investments in the rice processing sector, while creating more jobs in the State, Kapoor, a miller in Jalandhar, said.

Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal took the decision in a meeting with a delegation of Punjab Rice Millers and Exporters Association, said that in box during a sold deteriorate a sum volume of cess levied on a squeeze of basmati falls brief of a smallest annual grant of Rs 50 crore, afterwards a necessity so caused would be willingly borne by it.

There would be at least 40-50 per cent increase in basmati area next year. However, Jhakar believes that restricting buyers from neighbouring States may prove counter-productive, especially during a glut and when prices crash. Farmers may not feel the impact this year because prices are ruling higher than last year. There should not be any curbs on the inter-State movement of agri-produce. Restricting the movement is like indirectly taxing the agricultural produce.