Rs 7,594 crore paid to wheat growers through direct benefit transfer scheme in Punjab

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Chandigarh, Apr 24 (PTI) A sum of Rs 7,594 crore has been transferred to the bank accounts of 2.26 lakh wheat growers in Punjab under the newly implemented direct benefit transfer scheme, officials said on Saturday.

Over 93 per cent of the total arrival of wheat has been procured during the ongoing Rabi marketing season, Punjab Chief Secretary Vini Mahajan said.

She said 71.48 lakh metric tonnes of the 76.32 LMT arrivals had already been procured, which accounts for over 93 per cent of the total arrival.

This was despite the fact that nearly 300 per cent more wheat has arrived in the mandis this year as compared to 29.32 LMT arrival recorded during the corresponding period last year, she said in a statement here.

The official said the state government has already set up 'farmers help desks' in the grain markets across the state wherein Mandi Board officials and IT professionals assist the peasants for registering on the Centre's 'Anaaj kharid' portal to ensure timely payment directly into their bank accounts under the direct benefit transfer (DBT) scheme.

As many as 7 lakh of the 10 lakh farmers have already uploaded their documents on the said portal in the state till date.

Principal Secretary Food and Civil Supplies, K A P Sinha said there was no shortage of gunny bags in the grain markets.

However, there were initially some problems due to the non-functioning of jute mills in Kolkata at its full capacity due to the ongoing assembly elections in West Bengal, which had adversely impacted the supply of gunny bags in Punjab.

He also said that 14.2 crore gunny bags had already been used for packaging of wheat, besides one crore bags per day were being supplied to all the grain markets across the state.

Meanwhile, the Shiromani Akali Dal demanded immediate sacking of Food and Supply Minister Bharat Bhushan Ashu for allegedly failing to make proper arrangements in mandis for the wheat season.

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