Chandigarh, May 29 : In a path breaking initiative to make available top quality oil to the farming community at their doorstep, the Cooperation Department on Wednesday inked a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Indian Oil Corporation in the presence of Cooperation Minister, Punjab, S. Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa and the Additional Chief Secretary (Cooperation) , Punjab, Mr. Viswajeet Khanna. Under the MoU, The Indian Oil Corporation would open its retail outlets (Petrol Pumps) on the empty spaces of the cooperative sector institutions.
At a function to mark the occasion at the Punjab Bhawan, the Cooperation Minister S Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa said in order to provide direct benefit to the farmers, the empty spaces of the Markfed, Milkfed, Sugarfed and the rural cooperative societies would see the opening of the petrol pumps. This would not only result in the appropriate usage of the lands but also see the improvement of the financial situation of the cooperative institutions thereby generating more avenues of employment.
The minister also said this initiative by the Cooperation Department would lead to the supplying of the diesel and petrol to farmers on credit for which the latter would pay after harvesting their crops. Besides, the farmers wouldn’t have to go very far for fetching petrol.
Divulging more, the minister said the capital investment with regard to the setting up of these outlets would be taken care of by the Indian Oil Corporation whereas the land would be provided by the Cooperation Department.
The Indian Oil Corporation would also set up food courts and departmental stores at these outlets for the sale of products manufactured by Markfed, Milkfed and Sugarfed in accordance with the capability of the location. This would pave the way for financial benefits to the cooperative institutions apart from providing top quality products at affordable prices to the people. The minister also added that the cooperative sugar mills would also provide diesel and petrol on credit to the sugarcane growers in the sugar mills itself and the price would be adjusted in the pricing of sugarcane. He also informed that the Jail Department would also sign an MoU with the Indian Oil Corporation.
On the occasion, the Additional Chief Secretary (Cooperation) Mr Viswajeet Khanna said this initiative would be directly beneficial to the farmers apart from making the cooperative societies self dependent from financial point of view. He further added that during the first phase, the outlets would be opened at 15 places in Punjab and the department targets to cover all the societies in the near future. He also said this step would go a long way in generating direct and indirect avenues of employment.
The Executive Director of the Indian Oil Corporation Mr. Sujoy Chaudhary while thanking the Cooperation Department for the assistance rendered, said Punjab is the first state to undertake such an initiative. He assured of all the dedication on the part of Indian Oil Corporation to make this venture successful. He also said these outlets would also double up as the Kisan Sewa Kendars for the farmers where they would get Fertilizers, Seeds and the Agricultural Implements.
The MoU was inked on behalf of the Indian Oil Corporation by General Manager (Retail Sales) Indian Oil Corporation Mr. Amrindera Kumar and on behalf of the Cooperation Department by Registrar, Cooperative Societies, Punjab, Mr. Vikas Garg.