Punjab agriculture minister Tota Singh on Monday claimed that the Punjab government agencies had made all arrangements for the procurement of paddy in Punjab.
Addressing a gathering of senior officials of various agencies, Punjab Mandi Board, district transport department, and office-bearers of truck unions, Tota Singh said if any government official was found disobeying the purchasing norms of paddy as per the government orders, serious departmental action would be taken against him.
Tota said state's food agencies and the Food Corporation of India (FCI) would begin procurement of paddy in the state from October 1 with a target of 140 lakh metric tonnes, of which the FCI would be directly lifting 10% of the total arrivals.
"The Punjab government agencies, including Punjab Grains Procurement Corporation (Pungrain) has scheduled to procure 25%, Punsup 23% Markfed 22%, Punjab Agro 9% and the Punjab State Warehousing Corporation 11%, across the state. The agencies will use 40-kg capacity gunny bags instead of 35 kg which will save about `200 crore," he said.
The agriculture minister said: "The government has issued order to the secretaries of all market committees across the state that the Punjab Mandi Board officials will be appointed at the main entries of the purchasing centres for checking moisture of bringing paddy. If moisture will be more than 18%, we will not be able to buy it."
"More than 100 purchasing centres have been set up in Moga and there will be no shortage of gunny bags for packing purchased paddy. Farmers should bring dry paddy as per the FCI norms at purchasing centres for avoiding any delay in procurement process. We will take legal action against those farmers who will harvest wet paddy against the government norms," Tota said.