States to encourage farmers to increase paddy, wheat sowing: Goyal

NEW DELHI: Union food & consumer affairs minister Piyush Goyal on Tuesday asked states to encourage farmers to increase sowing area of paddy and wheat as higher domestic production will boost India’s exports.

Speaking at conference of state food ministers on food and nutrition security in India, Goyal asked state governments to submit their pending food subsidy claims up to 2019-20 fiscal years at the earliest for speedy settlements of old accounts. He told state governments that there is no shortage of funds with the Centre for settling old food subsidy claims but the delay was on account t of states are not filing their claims with proper documents.

 Goyal also urged all states to submit their claims by August 15 with all supporting document  and audit reports. The states which will file claims by August 15 will get their dues by October 15. However, if the papers are filed by September 30, the settlement will be made by January 2023 without any interest. “Very often states come to us saying that we have old pending subsidy claims. Very often the subsidy claims are pending not because of funds are not available, because you are not providing the data and you are not fulfilling the requirements of audit as has been very well articulated to all of you,” the union minster  said.

 “We are ready to clear everybody’s dues up to the year 2019-20.if you do not submit your claims with the papers, we will consider your claims as null and void and we will close all files till 2019-20,” he added. The Centre has come out with a new subsidy claim settlement policy, he said, and asked states to give their suggestions on the same.

 During the meet, the union minister also urged all states to increase the sowing of rice and wheat. “This will help us increase exports and help farmers as there is growing demand internationally,” he added.

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