October 4, 2021 7:21:48 am
ON THE first day of procurement, a total of 37,000 tonnes of paddy (parmal non-Basmati) arrived in Punjab’s grain markets Sunday, of which government agencies procured 11,000 tonnes.
While procurement began on Sunday, paddy has already been coming in over the past few days. A total of 76,000 tonnes has already reached the grain markets.
The Centre had earlier postponed procurement of paddy from October 1 to October 11, but after massive protests by farmers over the past two days, yielded and allowed it to begin Sunday.
The official date of paddy procurement has always been October 1 in previous years, but in the last two years, it was changed. In 2020-21, the date was advanced to September 25 and this year it began October 3.
The Punjab government has already notified 1,873 mandis and 646 temporary yards including rice mills for this paddy procurement season.
On Sunday, the arrival of paddy started in 268 mandis of 19 districts of the state. Mandis in Pathankot, Barnala and Mansa districts had not received any paddy till the time of filing this report.
The MSP of the paddy is Rs 1,960 per quintal.
Ludhiana district witnessed maximum arrival at 27,044 tonnes, followed by 10,814 tonnes in Patiala and 6,008 tonnes in Mohali, respectively.
Fatehgarh Sahib and Jalandhar received 5,560 tonnes and 5,137 tonnes respectively.
Punjab Food and Civil Supplies Minister Bharat Bhushan Ashu, while kickstarting procurement at Khanna, which has the largest mandi of the state, said: “Elaborate arrangements have been made by the state government and directions have been issued to make sure that every grain of paddy is procured and lifted without any sort of delay. Officers of all procurement agencies, Mandi Board and district administrations in the state have been asked to ensure timely payment of the produce to farmers.”
He said that arrangements for saving produce from rain are already in place. Besides, the facilities of power, sheds for farmers, portable water supply and equipment to monitor the quality of paddy have also been provided in each procurement centre.
Ashu also said that the state government has evolved a viable mechanism for lifting grains within 48 hours of procurement and started a campaign against malpractice of bogus billing. Several teams have been formed to nab the culprits.
Meanwhile, farmers in some mandis said that their crop is fully matured as against claims made by the Centre, which had delayed procurement earlier.
“I have brought around 100 quintals paddy of my three-acre land and the moisture level is as per the specification in my crop,” said farmer Hardeep Singh in Jalandhar’s grain market, adding that he has to harvest the crop on remaining four acres in the coming few days because that was also fully matured.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines
- The Indian Express website has been rated GREEN for its credibility and trustworthiness by Newsguard, a global service that rates news sources for their journalistic standards.