Mohali, Oct 2 (PTI) The Punjab government has urged the central procurement agency FCI to raise the permissible limit of moisture content for paddy procurement in the wake of recent rains.

Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh Tuesday said he had requested the Food Corporation of India (FCI) to consider increasing the accepted moisture level for paddy procurement in view of the impact of the recent heavy rains on the crop.

He was replying to a question on the sidelines of the Mahatma Gandhi Sarbat Vikas Yojna (MGSVY) mega camp here, according to an official release.

Notably, the norm for the maximum permissible moisture content in paddy is 17 per cent. Beyond it, the procurement agencies can refuse purchasing crop.

With paddy procurement commencing on October 1, the moisture content in fresh arrivals of paddy at some areas was around 20 per cent which was beyond the permissible limit. However, the arrivals are low in grain markets as last month rains had delayed harvesting in the state.

Meanwhile, the chief minister also reaffirmed his personal commitment to the welfare of the farming community and said the farm loan waiver scheme initiated by his government would be completed by this year-end.

On the issue of the recent central notification on Chandigarh UT cadre allocation, Amarinder said that his government was not in agreement with the union government on it.

He said he had already written to the prime minister requesting him to reconsider the notification.

He further said he would again take up the issue with the prime minister during their meeting in Delhi on Thursday.

The 60:40 ratio, as decided upon in 1966 at the time of division of Punjab and Haryana must not be disturbed, the chief minister stressed.

The Ministry of Home Affairs in its September 25 notification had merged post of Chandigarh Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSPs) into DANIPS cadre whereby they would now be transferred to other union territories – Delhi, Andaman and Nicobar islands, Daman and Diu, Lakshadweep and Dadar and Nagar Haveli.

Responding to a query, Amarinder expressed full confidence in the ability of Special Investigation Team formed to investigate in the sacrilege cases and said the SIT was an independent body and would submit its report in due time.

The state government had no mandate to direct SIT in this regard, the chief minister added.

Replying to a question on attempts being made by radical elements to foment trouble in Punjab, Amarinder categorically said that nobody would be allowed to vitiate the hard-earned peace of Punjab.

Trashing the alleged attempts by a minuscule of people outside India, who had no base and support in Punjab, he said anybody trying to play with the emotions of Punjabis for their ulterior motives would be severely dealt with.

Referring to reports of donations being received by some political parties from abroad to destabilise Punjab, he said the state government was already investigating these charges and looking into the source of funding, with the Income Tax department also being kept in the loop.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.