Chandigarh, October 26:

Paddy procurement during the ongoing marketing season of Kharif crops, has gained “good momentum” in Punjab and procurement mark crossed 100 Lakh Metric Tonne so far. This was disclosed by Food and Civil Supplies Minister Bharat Bhushan Ashu.

In a press statement issued today, Mr. Ashu said that the procurement of paddy in the state was being carried out in adherence to COVID-19 health protocols. He said that payment for the procurement of paddy was being made within 48 hours from the date of procurement as per the government’s instructions and Rs. 13672.67 Crore has been paid till now.

Mr. Ashu said that 10249149 metric tonnes of paddy had arrived in the mandis, out of which 10118556 metric tonnes had been procured till October 25, 2020. Government agencies have procured 10089533 MT and Millers procured 29024 MT out of the total procured crop.

The Cabinet Minister said that Rs.743,28,83,484 has been released to the Markfed for procurement while Rs.261,18,55,731 crore has been released to Punjab State Warehousing Corporation, Rs.1018,85,04,888 to Pungrain and Rs.436,72,94,982 to PUNSUP for payment to farmers.

Expressing happiness over the smooth running of the ongoing marketing season, Mr. Ashu said that no report has been received about the spread or occurrence of corona anywhere in the Mandis yet, which showed that the arrangements made by the government are fool proof.

He said that the vigilance wing of the Food and Civil Supplies Department in collaboration with the Punjab Police and Punjab Mandi Board had taken steps to curb the trend of bogus billing by some traders. In addition to surveillance at various inter-state borders, suprise checking are also being carried out. As a result, a total of 128 trucks and 11 trolleys of paddy / rice have been seized which are carrying paddy of other states so far and 69 FIRs have been registered against such persons / agents / milers.

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