Allaying the fears of farmers who have already harvested their crops, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan on Saturday said the government will begin procurement of wheat on April 15.
One of the major wheat producing states in the country, Madhya Pradesh had postponed the procurement schedule twice. Lakhs of farmers had registered themselves on the e-procurement portal in February. The procurement was first announced on March 25 and later on April 1.
On March 31, a few farmers received text messages to reach the centers before the procurement was cancelled at the last minute. In a televised speech, Chouhan said his government will buy the entire harvest and asked farmers not to panic.
The chief minister also said that advertisements were being placed in Punjab to invite harvesters to Madhya Pradesh and assured that the lockdown restrictions will not apply to the movement of harvesters. He said mandis will also start working soon.
Chouhan announced that migrant workers stuck in the state will be given an assistance of Rs 1,000. He said about 30 lakh people who don’t have ration cards will be provided food grains.
Admitting that the revenue collection of the state fell by nearly 25 per cent in March, Chouhan said the five per cent dearness allowance (DA) promised to government employees will be paid at a later date. “We have to use channelized resources to fight coronavirus. We have not scrapped the payment of DA,” he said.
Meanwhile, Chouhan, who took oath of office on March 23 night, said he would undertake Govardhan Parikrama once the Covid-19 challenge was over.
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