Union Food Secretary reviews paddy procurement in Punjab, Haryana

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Chandigarh, Oct 24 (UNI) Union Food Secretary Alka Sirohi reviewed procurement position of paddy in Punjab and Haryana at a high level meeting held here today.

In the meeting Punjab Food and Civil Supplies Minister Adesh Partap Singh Kairon gave an overview of procurement scenario of Punjab during the Kharif Marketing Season 2008-09. He requested the Union Food Secretary to make an amendment in the bonus payment notification so that payment of bonus could be directly made to farmers.

He said Punjab, without waiting for payment from Union Government has started making payment to the farmers directly. He also requested that a decision regarding PAU 201 variety of paddy be made at an early date so that procurement of this variety does not suffer. He also requested to extend the date of milling season to December 31, 2008 for levy and CMR. He said this year Punjab hopes to produce 165 lakh metric tonnes paddy and procure over 145 lakh tonnes paddy.

He said the traders share in procurement has been drastically come down from 13 per cent to a meagre 8 per cent, primarily due to ban on export of non-basmati rice.

Explaining the payment position to the farmers for the paddy Mr Kairon explained that Punjab is the only state that has setup electronic payment system in two districts to ensure payment to them within 48 hours of lifting of paddy. He said from the next procurement season electronic payment season would be extended to all 1622 mandis of the state.

Mr Kairon explained to the Union Food Secretary that presently 95.22 lakh metric tonnes wheat and 4.91 lakh metric tonnes rice was stored in Punjab. He requested that wheat should be immediately moved out of Punjab so that there space for rice was created.

Union Food Secretary assured that she would work out a plan to move average 14 lakh metric tonnes wheat every month from Punjab.

She also said Jute Commissioner of India has assured to supply 80,000 additional gunny bags to Punjab, keeping in view the bumper crop in the state.

In the meeting, Managing director of different procurement agencies gave an over view of procurement being done by their agencies.

Besides managing directors of procurement agencies of Punjab and Haryana, Senior Regional Manager (SRM) of FCI of Punjab and Haryana were also present in the meeting.


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