Punjab CM reviews wheat procurement situation

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Chandigarh, Apr 26 (PTI) Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Monday ordered the Food and Civil Supplies department to clear the pending payments of farmers by the end of this month.

He also directed all the heads of the procurement agencies to ensure prompt lifting of entire wheat procured so far in mandis across the state.

The chief minister chaired a meeting of all the heads of the procurement agencies and senior officers of the department through video conferencing to review the wheat procurement situation, according to a government statement here.

He pointed out with some initial glitches like the introduction of DBT (direct benefit transfer) system and shortage of gunny bags, has resulted in some slackness in the procurement, but now the situation has considerably improved leading to payment of nearly Rs 10,000 crore through DBT directly into the bank accounts of 5.59 lakh farmers.

Singh asked the mandi board officials to complete the uploading of relevant details of farmers on 'Anaaj Kharid' portal expeditiously so as to ensure timely payment to the farmers.

He said the balance payment worth nearly Rs 2,900 crore would be made soon once these requisite formalities are completed.

Reiterating his government's commitment to procure every single grain of wheat of the farmers, the chief minister further said that 84.18 lakh metric tonne out of 86.74 LMT wheat had already been procured and the remaining unsold wheat would also be procured immediately so that none of the farmers unnecessarily stay at mandi.

He, however, asked the procurement agencies to lift the remaining 46 LMT of wheat already stacked in mandis forthwith. PTI CHS VSD KJ