Punjab rejects FCI’s proposal to restrict paddy procurement

Published on Nov 29, 2019 11:41 PM IST
FCI had suggested state govt to limit amount of procurement per acre and ask farmers to sell remaining produce in open market
HT Image
HT Image
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh | By, Chandigarh

The Punjab government has rejected the Centre’s proposal suggesting it to limit the amount of paddy procurement per acre and asking the farmer to sell remaining produce in open market.

The proposal was a cause of concern for all stakeholders, including the government, farmers, farm economists and five procurement agencies in the state.

The state government has rejected the proposal at the onset, saying it will worsen the scenario.

A recent communique from Food Corporation of India (FCI), a central agency, though also keeps the scope open for supporting farmers by paying the differential of the minimum support price (MSP) of what is sold to traders.

An FCI official, seeking anonymity, said it is to be seen how soon the proposal will be implemented.

Five state agencies procure wheat and paddy from the state farmers in rabi and kharif seasons and hand it over to the FCI, for which state is paid in advance in form of cash credit limit (CCL).

The proposal was mooted to deal with the issue of stubble burning and to free foodgrain storage space, which is overflowing with rice and wheat stocks of the previous two seasons.

As an average 20 million tonne of paddy straw is generated in a season, out of which only 5 million tonne is consumed in biomass plant and the rest is vulnerable to be burnt. This season, the number of burning cases touched 50,500.

“The FCI proposal is not suited to Punjab as it has many impracticalities. The quantum of paddy produced in the state is huge and it can’t be purchased by private traders,” said an official of food and civil supplies department.

Speaking on the enormity of the procurement process, he said 163 lakh tonne paddy was procured this season, for which 29,100 crore was disbursed to the state farmers.

“This proposal has no meaning. It will breed corruption and chaos in the procurement system,” said farm economist Sardara Singh Johal.

“How can the government ascertain that a farmer has sold his produce to a private trader at a certain price as on paper, he can claim more price to take benefit of higher differential cost?, asked Johal.

Asked about the relevance of the FCI proposal, principal secretary, food and civil supplies, KAP Sinha said, “Those who have mooted the proposal can explain it better. The state government has rejected it.”

CROP HOLIDAY SOUGHT

FOR FARMERS

Reacting on the proposal, Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) leader BS Rajewal said, “This is first step towards running away from the responsibility of procuring foodgrains. The Centre is piling up stocks to get rid of the procurement, but they have to carry on with the procurement otherwise it would be a very chaotic situation in Punjab and Haryana”.

He said the Centre should give crop holiday to farmers instead of restricting paddy procurement.

SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Gurpreet Singh Nibber is an Assistant Editor with the Punjab bureau. He covers politics, agriculture, power sector, environment, Sikh religious affairs and the Punjabi diaspora.

Close Story
QUICKREADS

Less time to read?

Try Quickreads

  • HP chief minister Jai Ram Thakur flagging off a Tiranga rally to commemorate 75 years of Independence from Shimla Railway Station on Sunday. (HT Photo)

    HP cabinet gives nod for setting up 76 model wellness centres

    Himachal Pradesh cabinet has given the nod for setting up 76 model health wellness centres. The state cabinet met on Saturday evening wherein it decided to open patwar circle Spilo in Pooh tehsil of Kinnaur district to facilitate the people of the area. It also decided to create patwar circle Shikroha under Sadar Bilaspur tehsil. It gave its approval to create Kanungo circle Kelodhar under Chachiot tehsil of Mandi district.

  • Farmers in Himachal, where apples account for 13.5% of the state gross domestic product, fear that the opening prices offered by Adani Agri Fresh Limited may impact the fruit’s prices in the local market. (Aqil Khan /Hindustan Times)

    HP apple growers dissatisfied with opening prices announced by Adani

    Sanyukt Kisan Manch, an umbrella organisation of different farmers' unions, have rejected the prices announced by Adani Agri Fresh – a company that imports fruit. Sourced from farmers in Himachal Pradesh and Kashmir. The fruit supply chains in Himachal have announced a marginal increase in the opening price for A-grade premium apples for Rs 76 per kilogram against Rs 72 it offered last year.

  • A gunfight erupted between militants and security forces in Kandra Hill area of Rajouri, officials said on Sunday. (ANI image for representational purpose)

    Gunfight breaks out with terrorists in Rajouri

    A gunfight erupted between militants and security forces in Kandra Hill area of Rajouri, officials said on Sunday. Defence spokesperson Lt Col Devender Anand said, “Today, around 7.30pm, an operational contact was established by troops of Indian Army, Rashtriya Rifles and SOG with terrorists at Kandra Hill in Rajouri.” A senior police officer said that a team of police and army launched a cordon and search operation in Kandra Hill on a specific input.

  • Final touches being given to a multiplex ahead of its opening, in Srinagar on Sunday. (PTI)

    Kashmir’s first multiplex set to open early next monthin Sonawar

    Come September and film aficionados in Kashmir will be able to watch the latest movies on the big screen as the Valley's first multiplex is set to open in the Sonawar area here. The multiplex, being developed in collaboration with leading theatre chain INOX, will have three movie halls with a total capacity of 520 seats, its owner Vijay Dhar told PTI. It will house several food courts, where Dhar plans to promote local cuisine.

  • The Clock Tower at Lal Chowk illuminated on the eve of 75th Independence Day in Srinagar on Sunday. (Waseem Andrabi / Hindustan Times)

    J&K enthusiasm breaking all records: LG Manoj Sinha on Har Ghar Tiranga drive

    A walkathon was organised on the banks of Dal Lake in Srinagar on Sunday in which Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha, along with many senior civil, security officials and hundreds of security personnel, besides people marched holding Tricolour in hands. The walkathon, a part of the 'Har Ghar Tiranga' campaign, was organised by the Border Security Force from the Lalit Ghat to the Botanical Garden.

SHARE
Story Saved
×
Saved Articles
Following
My Reads
Sign out
New Delhi 0C
Monday, August 15, 2022
Start 15 Days Free Trial Subscribe Now