Govt makes arrangements for paddy procurement
The procurement of paddy in the state for the kharif season began on Sunday. The Punjab government has made arrangements for the procurement of 150 lakh metric tonnes (MT) of paddy in 1,770 notified mandis and purchase centres against an expected arrival of 135 lakh MT during the current season.
A government spokesman said the central government had sanctioned a cash credit limit of Rs 16,674 crore for the month of October and the remaining limit would be released next month. He said the state government had sent a request for cash credit limit amounting to Rs 22,509.90 crore for the procurement of 135 lakh MT of paddy by state procurement agencies.
The spokesman said instructions had been issued to ensure payment to farmers within 48 hours of the procurement. The state government has constituted dispute redressal committees in every mandi and purchase centre. Besides, the food and civil supplies department has established 24-hour control rooms in its headquarters and district offices, where farmers can contact in case of emergency.
The state government has announced a policy to ensure smooth operations of custom milling of paddy. It is also in touch with the director general, supplies and disposal, union ministry of food and civil supplies, and the jute commissioner to ensure adequate supply of gunny bags.
The spokesman said the procurement agencies would purchase paddy at an MSP of Rs 1,250 per quintal for common variety and Rs 1,280 per quintal for Grade A variety during the current season as against the MSPs of Rs 1,080 and Rs 1,110 per quintal, respectively, last year.
The state government has allotted Pungrain 37.50 lakh tonnes (25%), Markfed 33 lakh tonnes (22%), Punsup 24.50 lakh tonnes (23%), Punjab State Warehousing Corporation 16.50 lakh tonnes (11%), Punjab Agro Industries 13.50 lakh tonnes (9%) and FCI 15 lakh tonnes (10%) as their share in procurement.
According to the state agriculture department, 163.68 lakh MT of paddy is likely to be produced this season from an area of 28.10 lakh hectares sown under the crop.