Chandigarh, April 21: The Punjab Government has made a payment of more than Rs. 2000 crores to the farmers of the State for wheat procured upto April 19, 2008 fullfilling the commitment of Punjab Chief Minister Mr. Parkash Singh Badal to ensure payment to the farmers within 48 hours of lifting of their wheat.A spokesman of the Punjab Government today said that Punjab Government has already set aside Rs. 11000 crores for total procurement season to ensure hassle free payment to the farmers. He said that Rs. 8000 crore has been placed at the disposal of Food and Supply Department for the month of April alone.The spokesman said that six government agencies and private millers have procured more than 30.60 lac tonnes of wheat in Punjab for central pool. According to an official spokesman Government agencies and private millers procured more than 31.17 lac tonnes of wheat till Sunday evening. Out of total procurement of 31, 17,250 tonnes of wheat in all the procurement centers of Punjab, Government agencies procured 30, 60,806 tonnes of wheat (98.2%) till date whereas millers have lifted 58845 tonnes (1.8%) of wheat. Till April 20, PUNGRAIN had procured 5, 50,030 tonnes (18.5%) whereas MARKFED procured 7, 39,757 tonnes (24.2%). PUNSUP procured 7, 12,185 tonnes (23.3%), PSWC procured 3, 87,402 tonnes (12.7%) whereas PAIC was able to procure 3,69,267 tonnes (12.1 %) of wheat.
The Central Government agency FCI had been able to procure 285458 tonnes (9.3%).THe added that Patiala District with 642144 tonnes of procurement was leading in procurement operations whereas Sangrur District with 539390 tonnes of procurement was at second slot and Ferozepur district with 407045 tonnes of procurement ranked at third position.
The State Government has set up over 1615 procurement centres and activated its total machinery to ensure smooth procurement of wheat, the spokesman added