Chandigarh, Oct 19 (UNI) The government agencies and private millers procured more than 72 lakh tonnes of paddy till last evening.
According to an official spokesman, out of total procurement of 72.28 lakh tonnes of paddy in all the procurement centres of the state, the government agencies had procured 78.5 per cent of the total procurement at 56.72 lakh tonnes of paddy, whereas millers had lifted the remainng 15.56 lakh tonnes (21.5 per cent) of paddy.
Till yesterday, Pungrain had procured 13.79 lakh tonnes (24.3 per cent), whereas Markfed procured 13.21 lakh tonnes (23.3 per cent). Punsup procured 14.76 lakh tonnes (26 per cent), PSWC procured 8.01 lakh tonnes (14.1 per cent) whereas PAIC was able to procure 6.38 lakh tonnes (11.3 per cent) of paddy.
The Central Government agency FCI had been able to procure 54,513 tonnes (one per cent).
The spokesman said Ferozepur district with 10.69 lakh tonnes of procurement was leading in procurement operations, whereas Ludhiana district with 8.18 lakh tonnes of procurement was at second slot and Patiala district with 6.70 lakh tonnes of procurement ranked at third position.
The spokesman added that the Punjab government had already made payment to the tune of Rs 2972.17 crore for paddy procured till October 17. A payment of Rs 3591.74 crore 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 7,439 crore sanctioned from the Reserve Bank of India for Kharif season 2007-08.
The state government has set up 1,544 procurement centres and activated its total machinery to ensure smooth procurement of paddy, the spokesman added.