Bumper crop expected as paddy procurement begins in Punjab, Haryana

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Chandigarh, Oct 2 (IANS) Procurement of paddy officially began in agrarian states Punjab and Haryana on Monday with food and supplies officials saying that a bumper crop is expected this Kharif season.

Though official data was not immediately available, officials said that paddy arrival had started and was expected to pick up in the coming week.

Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh has promised strict adherence by his government to the 48-hour deadline for lifting of paddy and payment to farmers for their crop this time.

Pointing out that his government had got the issue of Cash Credit Limit (CCL) sorted out with the central government and the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), he said everything was in place for smooth procurement of paddy in this season, when an estimated 182 lakh tonnes of the crop was expected to come into the market in Punjab.

The state had procured 165 lakh tonnes paddy last year.

Punjab’s truck unions, which were on a warpath with the state government over the announcement of a ban on them, have decided to lift the paddy this time since the government has delayed the notification on the union ban.

Haryana’s Minister of State for Food, Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs Karan Dev Kamboj said on Monday that officials would visit 13 paddy growing districts of the state and speak to the framers to know if they faced any problems in selling their produce.

He urged farmers to bring their produce after it had completely dried up so that they faced no problem in mandis.

“If the moisture level is up to the norms of the government procurement agencies, no negligence should be exercised in procurement,” said the minister, who started the procurement operations in Indri grain market near Karnal.

“The Central government has set Rs 1,590 for PR variety of A-grade paddy and Rs 1,550 for B-grade paddy, but private millers in Indri mandi today purchased these varieties up to Rs 1,621 and Rs 1,611,” Kamboj added.

–IANS

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