Ludhiana (Punjab) [India], October 3 (ANI): Punjab Food, Civil and Supplies Minister Bharat Bhushan Ashu and Industry Minister Gurkirat Singh Kotli on Sunday started the paddy procurement in Asia's biggest grain market at Khanna in Ludhiana.
As per a press release issued by District Public Relation Officer (DPRO), the cabinet ministers during their visit said that elaborate arrangements have been made by the state government to make sure that every single grain of paddy is procured and lifted without any sort of delay.
The ministers asked the officers of all procurement agencies, Mandi Board and district administrations in all the state to ensure timely payment of the produce to the farmers.
They also informed that the arrangements for saving produce from rain or showers are already in place and the facilities of power, sheds for the farmers, portable water supply and equipment to monitor the quality of paddy have also been provided in each procurement centre.
"The paddy has been cultivated on around 2.57 lakh hectares in Ludhiana and around 17.53 lakh MT of paddy is expected to arrive in the grain markets. Apart from 108 regular grain markets in Ludhiana, the 94 temporary yards and 203 mandi yards in mills have also been identified to decongest the grain markets," the ministers stated.
They said that the state government has already evolved a viable mechanism for lifting grains within 48 hours of the procurement and also thanked Punjab Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi for raising the issue with the Prime Minister after which the Central government allowed procurement from October 3.
The ministers further said that the department has already started a campaign against malpractice of bogus billing and several teams have been formed to nab the culprits.
Earlier, the ministers also held a meeting with the arhtiyas in the office of Market Commitee Khanna.
The central government had postponed the purchase of paddy in Punjab and Haryana from October 1 to October 11.
But amid protests in Punjab and Haryana over the delay in paddy procurement, MoS Ashwini Kumar Choubey on Saturday informed that the procurement will start from today in both states. (ANI)