Chandigarh, Oct 21 (UNI) The procurement of paddy picked up pace in Punjab, as the government agencies and private millers procured more than 80.39 lakh tonnes of paddy in the state till yesterday evening.
According to an official spokesman, out of the total procurement the government agencies had procured 63.72 lakh tonnes while the millers had lifted 16.66 lakh tonnes.
Of the state procurement agencies, Pungrain had procured 15.67 lakh tonnes, Markfed 15.01 lakh tonnes, Punsup 16.42 lakh tonnes, PSWC 8.83 lakh tonnes and PAIC had pruchased 7.10 lakh tonnes.
The Central Government agency FCI had procured only 67,680 tonnes.
The spokesman added that Ferozepur district with 11.06 lakh tonnes was leading in procurement, followed by Ludhiana with 9.41 lakh tonnes and Patiala with 7.70 lakh tonnes was at the third spot.
The farmers of Punjab had been paid Rs 3,543.61 crore for the paddy procured by government agencies. A sum of Rs 4,410.27 crore had already been allocated to the Districts Food Controllers to ensure timely payment to the farmers.
To ensure smooth procurement and timely payments to the farmers in the kharif season, the Punjab Government had already got a cash credit limit of Rs 7,439 crore sanctioned from Reserve Bank of India for the month of October.
The government instructions to all agencies are very clear to release payments to the farmers within 72 hours of the purchase of their produce. The government has set up 1,544 procurement centres for the procurement.