Over 4.5 mn tonne paddy procured in Punjab

Chandigarh, Oct 18 (IANS) Over 4.57 million (45.75 lakh) tonnes of paddy has been procured in grain markets across Punjab this season since the procurement process started Oct 1, an official said here Monday.

Over 97 per cent were procured by six government agencies — five from the Punjab government and one from the Food Corporation of India (FCI), a spokesman of the chief minister’s office said.

He claimed that farmers were paid Rs.32.27 billion (Rs.3,227 crore), which was 85 percent of the total paddy purchase worth Rs.37.87 billion (Rs.3,787 crore).

Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal, who reviewed paddy procurement Monday, has directed all deputy commissioners in the state to personally supervise the operations.

Badal directed that the entire state be divided into six zones, each under a divisional commissioner or senior officer, to ensure smooth procurement in over 1,700 procurement centres.

The state is expecting another bumper paddy crop of over 14 million tonnes this season.

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