CHANDIGARH APRIL 23:Wheat procurement in Punjab, which appeared to be a source of anxiety for the country for sometimes, is likely to touch the record figure of 90 lakh Metric tones. This was stated by the Punjab Chief Minister Mr. Parkash Singh Badal here this morning.Talking to media persons here, Mr. Badal said that despite the delay in the start of the procurement operations because of inclement weather, a total of 44 lakh MT of wheat had already been purchased till last Tuesday evening. Significantly, 68% of the total wheat arrived in the mandis had already been lifted and payment had been made for 69% of the wheat procured. Mr. Badal attributed the relative drop in purchase by private agencies to the strict vigil being kept by the government against hoarding and black-marketeering tendencies. ‘In addition, as per the new regulations, any private player who bought more than 10,000 MTs of wheat was now required to file a return with the government and government’s prior permission was also required for the purchase more than 15,000 MTs of wheat, said Mr. Badal.
The Chief Minister pointed out that the government agencies were fully geared to pick up and clear the entire stock from the Mandis. The logistics coupled with the supervision by the Administrative Secretaries deputed by the Food & Supplies department had further streamlined the entire procurement process across the state.
On the issue of relief to the farmers whose crop had suffered damaged due to fire, Mr. Badal said that crop over 1230 acres had suffered total lose. Out of this 798 acres had been destroyed due to the short circuit in electricity wires while crop on 432 acres suffered damage by fire for other reasons .
The Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB) would pay Rs. 5000 per acres as a relief to the crop loss due to short circuit to the affected farmers and the state government would provide relief of same quantum for the crop loss on account of fire due to other reasons.