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Amarinder reviews arrangement for smooth procurement of paddy

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Press Trust of India Chandigarh
Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh Thursday directed the state food department to obtain all receivables from the Centre and Food Corporation of India (FCI) at the earliest, to ensure that the cash credit limit (CCL) is availed in time for the smooth procurement of paddy.
The chief minister was reviewing the arrangements for the procurement season, beginning from October 1, according to an official spokesperson.
With 29.20 lakh hectares of area under paddy cultivation, Punjab is targettingprocurement of 170 lakh metric tonnes (LMT), requiring CCL to the tune of Rs 34,500 Crore in kharif season 2019-20, said the spokesperson.
Directing the food and supplies officials to liaison with the central authorities, Singh also asked the food department, the nodal agency for the procurement operations, to ensure all necessary arrangements for storage of paddy stocks, especially in view of the inclement weather forecast for the next week.
The chief minister reiterated his government's commitment to lift every single grain of the farmers' produce from the market, in a smooth, prompt and hassle-free manner, while strictly adhering to the prescribed norms of timely payment.
Referring to the paddy purchase policy for Kharif Marketing Season (KMS) 2019-20, the meeting was informed that the Food, Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs Department had already issued 'The Punjab Custom Milling Policy for Paddy (Kharif 2019-20)' for paddy processing, after approval from the council of ministers.
Food and Supplies Minister Bharat Bhushan Ashu apprised the chief minister that necessary arrangements of required covers (Tarpaulin) for storage of paddy would be done in a timely manner.
The Punjab Mandi Board has notified 1,734 purchase centres and allotment of purchase centres amongst the procuring agencies, to be done before the commencement of KMS 2019-20. The FCI makes its own arrangements of gunny bales, cash credit, stock articles and storage space.
The Government of India has fixed minimum support price (MSP) of Rs 1,835 per quintal for grade 'A' paddy and Rs 1,815 per quintal for common variety paddy for this season.
Four state procurement agencies Pungrain, Markfed, Punsup, Punjab State Warehousing Corporation, along with FCI, will procure paddy on MSP as per specification laid down by the Government of India, the spokesperson said.
During the previous KMS 2018-19, a total of 170.18 LMT paddy was procured, of which 169.10 LMT paddy was procured by Government agencies, while traders/millers procured only 1.08 LMT.
During KMS 2019-20, state agencies will procure 161.50 LMT paddy and the FCI will procure 8.50 LMT paddy, the spokesperson said.

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First Published: Sep 26 2019 | 8:05 PM IST

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