Paddy procurement in Punjab crosses five millions tonnes

October 17th, 2008 - 5:29 pm ICT by IANS  

Chandigarh, Oct 17 (IANS) Paddy procurement in Punjab has crossed five million tonnes in the first 16 days of the procurement season that started Oct 1, government officials said here Friday.Over 90 percent of the procurement has been done by six government agencies including the centre’s Food Corporation of India (FCI).

A spokesperson of the food and supplies department said procurement by private millers had declined to about 10 percent this season.

He said this was due to the state government enforcing stricter norms for payment to farmers and clearing of pending dues.

The official said over Rs.29.82 billion (Rs.2,982 crore) had already been paid to farmers since Oct 1. Under the new norms, payments are to be released within 48 hours of procurement.

The border districts of Ferozepur and Amritsar continued to lead in paddy arrivals at 2.5 million tonnes and 1.6 million tonnes respectively.

The food and supplies department has set-up 1,622 procurement centres across the state to ensure smooth procurement of paddy.

In neighbouring Haryana, paddy procurement has reached two million tonnes.

The ruling Akali Dal party in Punjab has rejected the central government’s proposal made Thursday to pay a bonus of Rs.50 per quintal of paddy as bonus, saying the amount was “too meagre and an insult to farmers of Punjab”.

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