Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar Tuesday directed the officials to ensure that if a farmer brings 10 per cent additional paddy to the mandi than the prescribed quota, it should be purchased. The limit, which was earlier 25 quintals per acre, has now been increased to 33 quintals, an official statement said.
This came hours after the Bhartiya Kisan Union (BKU) called the farmers to block roads in front of mandis in Haryana on Wednesday, alleging delay in paddy procurement, a lack of coordination between the government departments and various agencies and over the cap on procurement.
The BKU has objected to the condition under which the government agencies will procure the produce up to 25 quintal per acre only. Citing higher production of paddy, the BKU wants this cap to be revised to 30 quintal per acre. The BKU also wants that the limit of moisture content in paddy be increased to 22 per cent instead of current 17 per cent.
A delegation of farmers led by BKU Haryana president Gurnam Singh Chaduni met state additional chief secretary PK Das in connection with their demands. Not happy with the outcome of the two-hour meeting, Chaduni said, “We did not get any concrete assurance regarding our problems. We don’t have any other option but to block roads in front of mandis wherever the paddy is not being procured.”
The BKU leader said the mandis are full of paddy and the procurement was not taking place.
Das later told The Indian Express that the government was ready to review the per acre cap on procurement but added the limit of moisture content has been fixed by the central government. Sources in the government hinted the state may convey feelings of the farmers to the central government regarding the moisture content.
Earlier in the day, agitating farmers raised slogans against the state government in Kurukshetra, Pipli, Pehowa and Ladwa.
Sub-Divisional Magistrate of Thanesar in Kurukshetra Akhil Pilani tried to pacify the farmers, who complained that they were waiting in the mandi for seven-eight days to sell their crops. Kurukshetra Market Committee Secretary Harjeet Singh said the farmers submitted a memorandum to the SDM and demanded that their produce be procured at the earliest. He said the procurement could not start even on Tuesday as the rice millers refused to make purchases till their demands were accepted by the state government.
Besides, he said, the portal of the market committee was also not working. In many cases, it shows very less cultivable land registered by farmers on the ‘Meri Fasal Mera Byora’ portal due to which they are not getting gate-pass to sell the crop in the ‘mandi’.
Late in the evening, Khattar said that the farmers will not be allowed to face any problem in the procurement process. He also asked the procurement agencies to immediately lift the procured paddy from Wednesday. He also reviewed the purchase of millet, maize, moong and cotton.
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