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HT Correspondent , Hindustan Times
Kapurthala, November 15, 2012
Former Bholath MLA Sukhpal Khaira had flayed the state government for its failure to ensure smooth procurement and lifting of paddy crops from grain markets in the current season. After his visit to Bholath grain market along with his supporters, Khaira said, "There have been large numbers of complaints by the farmers across the state of distress sale of their paddy crop. Farmers were forced to sell their paddy crop more than Rs. 100 per quintal lesser than the fixed MSP of Rs. 1,280. Owing to poor paddy procurement arrangements farmers were also forced to sell their produce in the neighboring states of Haryana and Rajasthan."

"The state suffered loss of hundreds of crores of revenue that was to accrue from 2% Rural Development fees and 2% Agricultural Marketing fees due to migration of paddy," he added.
"Farmers were forced to stay for unusually long periods in the Mandi's across the state as their crop was not being procured and thereafter not lifted in time."

"There are large dumps of paddy in virtually all the Mandi's of the state. The commission agents and farmers complained about the inordinate delay in lifting of the paddy crop, presently lying open in the state which would lead to decrease of moisture meaning thereby that there would be a shortage of 3-4 kg per bag, which would ultimately be the loss of the commission agents or the farmers.

Migrant labourers are the worst hit, as they are likely to loose all their earnings sitting idle waiting to load the paddy and then go to their respective states of UP and Bihar. Open stocking of paddy will also lead to discoloration and rotting of the food grain, but who is bothering?" questioned Khaira.