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HindustanTimes Sat,12 Jul 2014

Farmers term relaxations in paddy procurement norms a 'joke'

Jatinder Kohli , Hindustan Times  Jalandhar, November 02, 2013
First Published: 22:46 IST(2/11/2013) | Last Updated: 17:25 IST(4/11/2013)

The relaxations announced by central government for the paddy growers failed to bring happiness to those who had already sold their produce before for November 1.

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On Friday, the central government had raised the acceptable level for damage and discolouration of the paddy crop.

The discolouration percentage was relaxed from 4 to 7 and the damage percentage from 4 to 5. But this relaxation will beneficial for those farmers who had sold their crop on November 1 and will sell in coming days.

Moreover, there was not any announcement about bonus from central government which the central team had hinted during its visit in Phagwara main market last week.

FCI district manager Davinder Singh said, “The letter of relaxation has been reached and relaxations will be given from November 1 as the letter was issued by government on November 1.”
 
Farmer Tarsem Singh of Nahlan village said, “It was a sheer joke with them and government should have not announced relaxations.”

Singh added that he had sold his paddy at Rs. 1200 in market and there was no benefit of relaxation for him. Farmer Kulwinder Singh of Khairamajja said, “The government has cheated farmers by announcing relaxations as crops in most of the villagers, have been harvested and even sold.”

“The government has no sympathy for farmers. If it had, relaxations should have been offered from October 1,” said Singh.

District mandi officer Harinder Singh Randhawa said, “We expect two lakh metric tons (MT) paddy will reach markets and procurement season will also get finished by next week. A team from the central government had recently visited more than 30 grain markets in Amritsar, Tarn Taran, Jalandhar, Kapurthala, Nawanshahr, Gurdaspur,  Pathankot, Fatehgarh Sahib and Rupnagar and took 70 paddy samples.

Sources in Mandi board said more than the 70% of paddy has been procured in the district, in which, most of the farmers were forced to sell crop at Rs. 900-Rs 1,200 per quintal as against the minimum support price of Rs. 1,345.

They said now the season would go for only next week and around two lakh MT paddy was expected to be reached into markets across the district.

 Till November 1, 4.80 lakh MT paddy has been reached into markets and 4.62 lakh MT was procured by agencies.

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