Chandigarh, Oct 20 (UNI) The government agencies and private millers procured more than 76 lakh tonnes (LT) of paddy till last evening.
According to an official spokesman, out of total procurement of 76.47 LT of paddy in the state, the state-run agencies had procured 60.29 LT of paddy, which was 78.8 per cent of the total procurement, whereas millers had lifted 16.18 LT (21.2 per cent) of paddy.
Till yesterday, Pungrain had procured 14.76 LT (24.5 per cent), whereas Markfed procured 14.13 LT (23.4 per cent). Punsup procured 15.61 LT (25.9 per cent), PSWC procured 8.44 LT (14 per cent), whereas PAIC was able to procure 6.71 LT (11.1 per cent) of paddy.
The Central government agency Food Corporation of India (FCI) had been able to procure 62,952 tonnes (one per cent).
The spokesman said Ferozepur district with 10.86 LT of procurement was leading in procurement operations whereas Ludhiana district with 8.79 LT of procurement was at second slot and Patiala district with 7.18 LT of procurement ranked at third position.
The spokesman added that the farmers of the state had been paid Rs 3213.76 crore for the paddy procured by government agencies alone up to October 18. A sum of Rs 3,818.62 crore had already been allocated to different districts Food Controllers to ensure timely payment to the farmers.
He said to ensure smooth procurement and timely payments to the farmers during Kharif Season 2007-08, the Punjab government has already got a cash credit limit of Rs 7,439 crore sanctioned from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) for October.
The spokesman said the state government had already issued instructions to all agencies to release payments to the farmers within 72 hours of lifting paddy.
The state government has set up 1,544 procurement centres and activated its total machinery to ensure smooth procurement of paddy, the spokesman added.