Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal on Monday directed the officials of the state government to make all-out efforts towards smooth, timely and hassle-free procurement of grains from farmers during the ongoing procurement season.
Presiding over a high-level meeting here to review the ongoing procurement in the state here, the CM had detailed interactions with the officials on the issues pertaining to procurement, moisture content, damage and payment of the wheat crop, an official spokesman said here.
He asked the officials of the state government particularly the Managing Directors of the state procurement agencies to personally visit the grain markets for ensuringthat farmers do not face any sort of problem in selling their harvest.
"This will facilitate the farmers in selling their harvest without any sort of undue harassment," Badal said. Notably, on Tuesday last, Congress leader former Chief Minister Amarinder Singh had blamed the Akali-BJP government in Punjab for the alleged distress sale of wheat by farmers as the state agencies "failed" to procure the produce on time.
Two days back, Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee President Partap Singh Bajwa had also said that the party would intensify protests "if the government fails to solve the issue of non-procurement of crops."
Meanwhile, it was apprised in the meeting on Monday that in order to ensure smooth, prompt and hassle free procurement of
wheat, the state Food and Civil Supplies Department had already issued the 'Wheat Procurement Policy' for this current marketing season.
Necessary arrangements for required storage space and stock article had already been completed and a network of purchase centres has been notified by the Punjab Mandi Board and allotment of 'Mandis' to six procurement agencies have been made as per their allotted share by the state government.
The officials also apprised the Chief Minister that barring some pockets the work of procurement was going on smoothly.
The Chief Minister further asked officials to make the payment of the crops to the farmers immediately, without any delay.
He also said that every farmer must be paid the fixed value of his crop in the stipulated time period, without any sort of undue harassment.
Badal further said that the senior officials should make personal interventions for ensuring that the procurement of the wheat was done in a smooth and effective manner.
The chief minister also said that besides procurement of the grains, emphasis must also be laid on proper transportation and storage.
He also asked the Food and Civil Supply Department to explore the feasibility of setting up new warehouses in the state.