UP Rice Millers to move HC against ECA provisions

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Lucknow, Dec 18 (UNI) Uttar Pradesh Rice Millers Association (UPRMA) has decided to file a civil suit in the High Court challenging some provisions of the Essential Commodities Act applicable to the rice industry in the state.

Addressing a news conference here this afternoon, Association president Sanjiv Agarwal said the state government had filed ''baseless'' cases against 101 rice millers in Hardoi district under the Act.

He informed that the millers in Hardoi had supplied about 13 lakh quintal levy rice to the government according to specifications during the period of November 2006 and February 2007.

''Now after 10 months, the food and civil supply department has claimed that the rice did not conform to specifications and lodged 'false' cases against 101 rice millers in Hardoi,'' he lamented.

These millers were charged with causing loss to government and breach of trust, which is completely flimsy and unwarranted, the Association claimed.

Mr Agarwal said not only the Association would challenge the provisions in the HC, it would also make a representation to chief minister Mayawati.

''The CM is not aware of these facts, else such a thing would not have happended in her regime...we will seek an audience with the CM to apprise her of our grievances,'' he maintained.

The suit in the court would be filed within 10 days.

Mr Agarwal also mentioned that the Food Corporation of India (FCI) norms for levy rice for central pool were rational compared to the purchase for state pool.

The Association has warned if the FIRs were not withdrawn immediately, the rice industry would observe a hunger strike on December 24.

''Still, if we do not get any respite from the state government, the rice industry may decide on an indefinite strike,'' he added.


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