Chandigarh, Nov 10 (UNI) Punjab state procurement agencies have paid over Rs 7,170.74 crore to farmers for paddy procured since October 26 last, fulfilling the Government's commitment to make payment to them within 72 hours of lifting of paddy, said an official spokesman.
The paddy procurement in Punjab had entered the final phase as total procurement by Government agencies and private millers neared the last year figure of 124 lakh tonnes on Thursday evening.
Out of the total procurement of 123,54,776 tonnes paddy in the state, Government agencies have procured 101,27,354 tonnes (82 per cent) till date, whereas millers have lifted 22,27,422 tonnes (18 per cent) of paddy.
Till November 8, 2007, PUNGRAIN had procured 25,96,393 tonnes (25.6 per cent), MARKFED 23,88,474 tonnes (23.6 per cent), PUNSUP 25,68,085 tonnes (25.4 per cent), PSWC 13,38,584 tonnes (13.2 per ceent) and PAIC 11,05,057 tonnes (10.9 per cent) of paddy.
The Central Government agency FCI had been able to procure 1,30,761 tonnes (1.3 per cent).
The spokesman said that Ludhiana district with 16,40,921 tonnes was leading in paddy procurement, followed by Sangrur district recording 15,53,196 tonnes and Patiala district registering 12,85,347 tonnes.
The spokesman said Rs 7,755.91 crore payments 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 of paddy.
He said to ensure smooth procurement and timely payments to the farmers during Kharif Season 2007-08, the State Government had got a cash credit limit of Rs 9,058.50 crore sanctioned from the Reserve Bank of India. The Punjab government has sought sanction of Rs 950 crore more from the RBI, keeping in view the expected procurement this month.
The State Government has set up 1,544 procurement centres for smooth procurement of paddy in the state.