Chandigarh: Punjab Congress on Sunday flayed the Centre's decision fixing new norms about paddy procurement and milling as "anti-farmer" step.
State Congress chief Partap Singh Bajwa in a statement here strongly opposed to decision of the Centre to bring down the paddy moisture content limit from 15 to 14 per cent, saying "this would adversely affect both farmers as well as the millers" of Punjab.
"Even earlier, the procurement agencies had been rejecting paddy on the slight pretext of higher moisture content. Moreover, this will create further complications for the rice millers as milling will not be conducive under the new norms," he claimed.
The Congress leader expressed the apprehension that due to recent heavy rains in the region, the moisture content was likely to be higher and it would take more time to dry the paddy.
The PPCC chief said yet another decision that would directly hit the millers was the reduction in the paddy milling period by about two months.
"Earlier, the time limit set for the paddy milling was June 30 which had now been brought down to April 15. With the amount of paddy coming to the markets in this state, it will be impossible for the millers to complete this job during this curtailed period," he stated.
He criticised Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal "for not raising his voice against these decisions.
"Why is Badal not raising voice..., he has been promising people that the change in the government at the Centre will end all alleged discrimination by the UPA government and the state would usher in a new era," Bajwa said.