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Badal assures hastle free procurement of wheat

By Staff
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Google Oneindia News

Chandigarh, Mar 19 (UNI) Assuring the farmers that every grain of wheat they bring to the market would be lifted, Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal today instructed the state procurement agencies to undertake the product as per their allotted share.

He directed the Deputy Commissioners to personally supervise the overall procurement arrangements and ensure the payment to farmers is made within 48 hours.

While monitoring the arrangements for the wheat procurement during the current Rabi Marketing Season (RMS) at a meeting of Deputy Commissioners and senior civil officers here, Mr Badal directed the functionaries of the Food and Civil Supplies department and heads of the procurement agencies to ensure hastle free procurement.

He was of the view that the entire procurement process should be over between April 1 and May 31, 2007. He told the officers of the food and supplies department that no laxity on their part would be tolerated and asked them to chalk out a strategy for the smooth procurement well in advance.

Mr Badal was apprised in the meeting that the production of wheat was likely to touch 145 lakh MTs this year as compared to last years production target of 144.93 lakh MTs. Market arrival of wheat in the state was around 64 per cent of the estimated production.

Likely arrival of wheat would be approximately 95 lakh MTs out of which the procurement by government agencies was likely to be 75-80 lakh MTs and 15-20 lakh MTs by traders depending upon the overall production scenario of the country and prices in the open market.

The Secretary Food and Supplies informed the meeting that the department had already tied up with the Reserve Bank of India well in advance for the cash credit limit (CCL) of Rs 7,428 crore for the procurement of approximately 81 lakh MTs of wheat.

However, an additional CCL of Rs 810 crore would be required in view of the announcement of bonus of Rs 100 per quintal on MSP by the Union Government and this proposal had been submitted to the Finance Department for the release of funds at the earliest.

The Chief Minister directed the Chief Secretary to issue guidelines to all the Deputy Commissioners to regularly hold meetings of the concerned officials of the procurement agencies of their respective districts to monitor the progress on day-to-day basis.

These committees would function at mandi (market) level, sub-divisional level and district level and would have farmers and 'arhtias' (grain commission agents) as its members, in addition to the officials of procurement agencies and market committees.

The Chief Minister also asked the Food and Supplies Department and other procurement agencies to tie up with the DGD&D, Kolkata for the procurement of adequate supply of gunny bags.

He also asked the Chief Secretary to seek permission from the Union Government for the transportation of these gunny bags through trucks in case there was any delay by the railways.

UNI

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