The Punjab government on Thursday released an amount of Rs 1,298.72 crore to about 15,000 'arthiyas' (commission agents) against the purchase of their crop by different procurement agencies during the ongoing paddy procurement in the state.
As many as 28,459 entries of payment were recorded, an official spokesman said.
The payment has been made in accordance with the guidelines of the Centre, he said.
He said that 113,43,084 Metric Tonnes (MT) of paddy has been procured till last evening.
Out of the total paddy procured, 111,58,574 (98.4 per cent) MT was procured by the government agencies and private agencies procured 1,84,510 MT (1.6 per cent).
Out of the government agencies, PUNGRAIN procured 3,51,3463 MT (31.5 per cent), MARKFED procured 25,98,473 MT (23.3 per cent), PUNSUP 25,04,990 MT (22.4 per cent), he said.
The central government agency FCI could procure 2,74,864 MT (2.5 per cent) of paddy till last evening.Meanwhile, district Ludhiana took a lead for the third consecutive day by procuring 14,64,622 MT of paddy, he said.