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India

Updated on: Wednesday, November 10, 2021, 03:27 PM IST

'180-189 lakh metric tonnes of crops via mandis have been procured': Punjab Minister Bharat Bhushan Ashu on stopping purchase of paddy crops from mandis

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While Punjab state government has stopped the purchase of paddy crops from mandis, state Cabinet Minister Bharat Bhushan Ashu on Wednesday said that no farmers will face any problem.

The minister said, "We have procured around 97% or 180-189 lakh metric tonnes of crops via mandis." "The rest 2-3% will be done in 2-3 days with an added window," he added.

The Punjab state government, going by the paddy procurement limit of 170 lakh MT set by the Centre, has decided to close many mandis, inviting criticism from farmers. The move comes as Punjab food and civil supplies department has directed district officials to check land sowing entries and land mapping for paddy procurement. Officials have been directed not to release payment where land entries of a farmer have been made by different arhtiyas or where land mapping of same khasra number has been mapped for more than one farmer.

The action of Punjab government comes after the central government’s directions for not accepting more than 170 lakh metric tonnes of paddy. Punjab was looking to procure more than 190 lakh metric tonnes of paddy.

According to Punjab Mandi Board (PMB) till November 5, total 149.92 lakh tonnes (around 15 million tonnes) paddy had been purchased by the government agencies out of the expected arrival of 190 lakh tonnes (19 million tonnes).

Last year, 203 lakh tonnes (20.03 million tonnes) was purchased. Central government, however, had told the state government this year that it will procure 170 lakh tonnes (17 million tonnes) only.

Earlier in the day, farmers staged a protest outside Rohtak Deputy Commissioner's office on Tuesday stating that officials were refusing to purchase PR Paddy from the procurement centre.

Preet Singh, the District President of the Akhil Bharatiya Kisan Sabha said, "On 4 November, they said that PR Paddy purchase has been stopped and it would be resumed from November 8. Yesterday, some gate passes were approved, but not even a single grain of paddy was purchased. Farmers are worried. For a week, they have been in the mandis with their produce. We appeal to the District Commissioner to start the purchase otherwise we will not go from here." Meanwhile, Sub-Divisional Magistrate Rakesh Saini has said that the procurement of paddy will start soon after the physical verification of the sellers.

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Published on: Wednesday, November 10, 2021, 03:27 PM IST
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