Chandigarh, Oct 18 (UNI) Government agencies and private millers procured more than 68.3 lakh tonnes of paddy till last evening.
According to an official spokesman, out of the total procurement in all the procurement centers of Punjab, government agencies had procured 53.27 lakh tonnes of paddy, which was 78 per cent of the total procurement whereas millers had lifted the remainng 15.03 lakh tonnes (22%) of paddy.
Till yesterday, Pungrain had procured 12.83 lakh tonnes (24.1%) whereas Markfed procured 12.37 lakh tonnes (23.2%). Punsup procured 13.98 lakh tonnes (26.2%), PSWC procured 7.59 lakh tonnes (14.3%) whereas PAIC was able to procure 5.96 lakh tonnes (11.2%) of paddy.
The central government agency FCI had been able to procure 52,834 tonnes (1.0%).
The spokesman said that Ferozepur district with 10.53 lakh tonnes of procurement was leading in paddy procurement in the state whereas Ludhiana district with 7.51 lakh tonnes of procurement was at second slot and patiala district with 6.18 lakh tonnes of procurement ranked at third position.
The spokesman added that the Punjab government had already made payment to the tune of Rs 2693.93 crore for paddy procured till October 16. Rs 3558.34 crore payment had been allocated to all agencies to ensure timely payment to the farmers. The Government had already issued instructions to make payment to the farmers within 72 hours of lifting paddy.
To ensure smooth procurement and timely payments to the farmers, the state government has already got a cash credit limit of Rs 7439 Crores sanctioned from Reserve Bank of India for Kharif Season 2007-08 The state government has set up 1544 procurement centres and activated its total machinery to ensure smooth procurement of paddy, the spokesman added.