Badal asks officials to ensure every grain of paddy is lifted

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Chandigarh, Oct 14 (UNI) Taking a serious view of reports of slow procurement of paddy, Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal today ordered that the procurement operations be taken up on a war footing and asked some of his senior officers to move out into the districts to ensure speedy purchase of the food grain.

The Chief Minister has directed Chief Secretary Ramesh Inder Singh and other top ranking officers to leave Chandigarh immediately and personally supervise the procurement operations.

The Chief Minister's strict directions came at the end of an hour long meeting to review the arrangements of paddy procurement throughout the state here this morning.

The officers had been categorically told to treat their alloted respective zones as their operational headquarters.

''Dont even think of showing me your face in Chandigarh till the last grain of paddy is lifted'', an obviously angry Chief Minister said at the meeting as he pointed out that a war could be won if the Generals stayed back home.

The officers who have been especially deputed to oversee procurement operations are the Principal Secretary to Chief Minister, Financial Commissioner Development, Principal Secretary Food and Supplies, Director Food and Supplies, Director Agriculture and the Managing Directors of Markfed, Pungrain and Warehousing Corporation and the Secretary, Mandi Board. They had also been asked to constitute supervisory teams involving officers from the concerned districts in consultation with the local Deputy Commissioners.

Principal Secretary to the Chief Minister D S Guru who had already visited mandis in Barnala, Bathinda, Muktsar, Ferozepur, Faridkot, Moga, Ludhiana and Ropar. He will now visit the mandis in Amritsar, Tarn Taran, Gurdaspur, Jalandhar, Kapurthala and Hoshiarpur in next couple of days.

Punjab expects to procure over 145 lakh tonne paddy this year and so far 40.27 lakh tonnes had been procured. Around 75 per cent of paddy procured had already been lifted from the mandis and 90 per cent of the farmers gave made their payment for their produce.


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