Steps would be taken to speed up the paddy procurement process, which began on September 16 in Kerala, state Food and Civil Supplies Minister C Divakaran said on Wednesday.
The special squads of Civil Supplies Corporation were monitoring paddy procurement to avoid malpractices, said the minister admitting that there were some delay in the process in certain panchayats due to frequent rains and holidays.
The government is committed to procuring the entire paddy crop produced by farmers in the state at a price of Rs 8.50 per kg Divakaran said while replying to a notice for adjournment motion sought to be moved by the opposition UDF in the state assembly alleging lapses in paddy procurement.
Opposition leader Oommen Chandy complained that even after 30 days of harvest, paddy had not been procurred in some parts of Kottayam district pushing farmers into great crisis.
Disputing Chandy's contention that farmers were not paid for procured paddy in time, Divakaran said instructions had been issued to make payments within 10 days of procurement.
Divakaran said the Government had procurred 2.74 lakh quintals of paddy and had disbursed an amount of Rs 92 mn to 2,700 farmers on this account.