Union food secy reviews Punjab’s preparedness for paddy procurement
Chandigarh Union food and public distribution secretary Sudhanshu Pandey visited Punjab on Friday to review the state’s preparedness for paddy procurement. After his review, Pandey appreciated the state government’s initiatives to check the recycling of rice meant for the Public Distribution System (PDS) and bogus billing of paddy.
He also asked the Food Corporation of India (FCI) to replicates the measures it has introduced for paddy procurement in Punjab in other states as well, and expressed satisfaction on other arrangements.
Punjab is expecting bumper paddy crop during the current season due to favourable weather conditions at the time of maturity of the crop. According to the paddy production estimates of the department of agriculture and farmers welfare, Punjab, 191 lakh tonne of paddy will be produced during the Kharif Marketing Season (KMS) 2021-22. As the Centre has fixed a tentative target of procurement of 170 lakh tonne paddy, it was requested to revise the target of paddy procurement.
The union food secretary also reviewed the distribution of subsidised foodgrain to identified beneficiaries in the State under Prime Minister Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana (PMGKAY), Atam Nirbhar Scheme and National Food Security Act (NFSA), and expressed his satisfaction.
“There is an urgent need to bring in improved technological interventions to automate all distribution operations in order to ensure transparency and avoid any leakages/diversion in the PDS,” he said, adding that he had asked Punjab government to review the present policy of distribution of six-monthly quota in one go and consider switching to quarterly or monthly distribution of subsidised wheat under the NFSA.