Leave office and visit grain markets, Badal tells officers

October 14th, 2008 - 7:36 pm ICT by IANS  

Chandigarh, Oct 14 (IANS) Burdened with complaints of slow paddy procurement this season, Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal Tuesday ordered top-ranking bureaucrats out of their offices in Chandigarh and directed them to supervise procurement in the grain markets.With the procurement of paddy in Punjab crossing 4.5 million tonnes till Tuesday evening and the government procurement agencies expecting a bumper crop of 14.5 mn tonnes this time, the Punjab government wants top bureaucrats to function from the field over the next few weeks to ensure smooth procurement.

“You should not even think of showing me your face in Chandigarh till the last grain of paddy is lifted,” Badal told a meeting of top bureaucrats here Tuesday.

All principal secretaries and secretaries have been asked to look after respective zones assigned to them. Some of the top bureaucrats have already embarked on their field assignments.

Badal’s media adviser Harcharan Bains said the chief minister asked the officers that “no war could be won if the generals stayed back home”.

Chief Secretary Ramesh Inder Singh had been asked to head the entire procurement operations.

Bains pointed out that the Principal Secretary to Chief Minister, D.S. Guru, had so far visited grain markets in Barnala, Bathinda, Muktsar, Ferozepur, Faridkot, Moga, Ludhiana and Ropar and would be visiting grain markets in Amritsar, Tarn Taran, Gurdaspur, Jalandhar, Kapurthala and Hoshiarpur within next couple of days.

Over 90 percent of the paddy so far has been procured by six government agencies, including five of the Punjab government. The remaining paddy has been procured by private millers.

Bains claimed that payment for the procured paddy had been made in case of 90 percent of the farmers.

Procurement of paddy started in the state Oct 1.

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