Chandigarh, October 13:

The Punjab Government has procured nearly 96 percent of paddy of the total arrival so far across the state during the ongoing Kharif Marketing Season (KMS) amid COVID-19.

Disclosing this here today, Secretary Mandi Board Ravi Bhagat said that 33.04 LMT paddy has been procured out of the 34.48 LMT arrival so far. Also, with a view to ensure staggered movement of paddy in mandis, 10.60 lakh passes have been issued to the farmers through arthiyas across the state.

After two days visits of grain markets in various districts in the state, Secretary Mandi Board expressed satisfaction over ongoing paddy procurement operations in mandis amid Covid-19 pandemic.

The mandis across the State have been witness to more than double increase in the arrival of paddy crop with 34.48 LMT till date in comparison to 15.45 LMT last year. He also informed that so far 33.04 LMT paddy has been procured as against 14.79 LMT till date last year, pointed out the Secretary.

Earlier, while reviewing the paddy procurement operations during his visit in Khanna, Doraha, Sahnewal (Ludhiana), Jalandhar, Kartarpur, Kapurthala and Phagwara, the Secretray reiterated the firm commitment of Punjab Government led by Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh to procure every single grain of the farmers.

Bhagat also interacted with farmers, labourers and commission agents in the markets and enquired about issues being faced by them.

The Secretary further revealed that despite prevailing situation arising out of Covid-19 pandemic, the Punjab Mandi Board and various District Administrations have ensured the smooth, hassle-free and safe procurement in the grain markets. Meanwhile, he also directed the officials to ensure the lifting of paddy within 48 hours of its purchase during the ongoing procurement season.

He also asked the procurement agencies to regularly monitor the procurement operations in the districts for the convenience of the farmers. The availability of masks, water, soaps have been made in all the grain markets besides the sanitization drive has already been carried out in the grain markets, emphasized the Secretary also exhorting the farmers’ to desist from burning stubble.

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