Patiala: With the Centre not yet releasing money to the state government for purchase of paddy, government purchasing agencies did not pay out anything to the farmers. The day was also marked by the transfer of Patiala food and civil supplies controller Rupinder Kaur to Fatehgarh Sahib.
As for the actual procurement, only a meager amount of paddy flowed in into the grain markets with 10,634 tonne received and 8,936 tonne being the final purchase figure.
Most farmers brought the PB1509 variety of paddy as the government has allowed it to be purchased at a Minimum Support Price (MSP) of Rs 1,450 per quintal, though even as it is a hybrid variety.
The Rajpura town Mandi received the most paddy, but farmers, however, have demanded that the PB1509 variety be bought at Rs 2,000 a quintal against the MSP of rs 1,450 a quintal. The Patiala mandi received the least paddy.
“Crop arrival will pick up increase in the coming week,” said Gurbhajan Singh Aulukh, district mandi officer.
“The yield of PB1509 is 20-25 quintal per acre against the yield of 36-42 quintal for regular rice varieties. With the government purchasing both at the same rate, growers of PB1509 are suffering,” said a farmer Rajinder Singh.
To ensure paddy purchase carried on smoothly, rural development and panchayat minister Surjit Singh Rakhra visited the Patiala grain market, while mandi board Secretary Deepinder Singh visited the Rajpura grain market. They spoke to various stake holders and assured farmers of a hassle-free purchase.
“All arrangements have been made to ensure smooth purchase of paddy,” said Rakhra to farmers.
Transfer raises eyebrows
Even as Thursday was the start of the first day of paddy procurement, district food and civil supplies controller (DFSC) Rupinder Kaur was transferred, which is being taken as an example of bad planning by the food and civil supplies department that undertakes the procurement of paddy.
In the purchase season, the DFSC office plays the role of coordinator between purchasing agencies and the Punjab government usually does not transfer anyone in this period. Harjit Kaur will replace Rupinder Kaur, who will join at Fatehgarh Sahib.