Representational pic
Representational pic

Bhopal: Agriculture welfare minister Kamal Patel has announced that an aid of Rs 25 lakh will be given to the family members of any employee who succumbs to the coronavirus during the wheat procurement process.

Patel said this during his interaction with a section of the media on Wednesday. He said that all employees of the Mandi Board and various cooperatives working during the pandemic for wheat procurement across the state would be entitled to it.

No criterion has been placed on the aid; all employees—irrespective of whether he is a Class I officer, or a Class IV employee—would be entitled to an ex gratia amount of Rs 25 lakh, he said.

Patel also agreed to the demand of the Mandi Board employees to include those employees who had died before the announcement was made. As many as 31 employees had died so far, said a Mandi Board leader.

Wheat procurement is on and, according to government figures, 53.69 thousand metric tons of wheat have been procured. According to the government’s claims, Rs 6,683 crore have been paid to the farmers. According to an estimate, an overall payment of about Rs 25,000 crore will be made to the farmers this season.

Officials of the agriculture department have estimated production of wheat at one crore 40 lakh tons. The state government has created 4,588 wheat procurement centres across the state. The state government has also increased the date for procurement of wheat by 10 days considering the situation arising out of the Covid pandemic. At centres where procurement was to be done till May 5, it can be done till May 15. At other centres where the last date was May 15, it has been extended till May 25.

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