The Punjab Government has cancelled all the labour and transportation tenders issued during the erstwhile Badal regime for the upcoming wheat procurement season, and has invited fresh tenders, while directing the DCs to personally supervise the procurement process beginning April 1.An official spokesperson disclosed after a high-level meeting of DCs and SPs, chaired by Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh, that the fresh tenders could be submitted till 5 p.m. on March 24 and would be opened the next day by the respective committees headed by the Deputy Commissioners of the concerned districts. The entire tendering process would be completed by March 31, before the two-month procurement process kicks off on April 1.In case retendering is required for any reason, the entire process shall be finalized by District Tender Allotment Committee (Headed by Deputy Commissioners) by March 31, said the spokesperson.During the meeting held at the Punjab Bhawan on Monday, the Chief Minister directed all the DCs to put in place a viable mechanism, and personally supervise the process, to ensure smooth and hassle-free procurement of the wheat crop in their respective districts.
The Chief Minister ordered all-out efforts by the officers to ensure timely and full procurement of every single grain of wheat from the farmers, who had suffered a harrowing time last year as a result of the ill-conceived agricultural policy of the erstwhile SAD-BJP regime.Reiterating his government's commitment to ensure prompt and seamless wheat procurement, Captain Amarinder issued strict instructions to the officers to ensure that the farmers do not face any hardship or inconvenience in the sale of their produce in the Mandis during the procurement period from April 1 to May 31, 2017.He directed the officers to intervene personally to ensure effective management of the procurement process, with proper facilities of drinking water and toilets for the labourers working in the grain markets. The Mandi Board, Punjab, has been directed to make necessary arrangements such as cleaning of mandis, electricity in mandis, moisture meter, tarpaulin with arhtiyas, crates, power cleaners, fans, generators etc. in all the Mandis by March 24.The meeting was informed that in order to ensure smooth, prompt and hassle-free procurement of wheat, the necessary arrangements for storage and stock article had already been completed and a network of 1828 purchase centres has been notified by the Punjab Mandi Board.Mandis had been allotted to six procurement agencies viz. PUNGRAIN, Markfed, PUNSUP, Punjab State Warehousing Corporation, Punjab Agro Foodgrain Corporation and Food Corporation of India (FCI), as per share allocated to them by the state government. The agencies would procure an estimated 122 Lakh Metric Ton (LMT) wheat during this procurement drive. The Government of India (GoI) has fixed Rs 1625 per quintal as Minimum Support Price for wheat for the current marketing season.
The DCs will issue orders regarding grievances committee formation, as well as prohibition of movement of combines in agriculture fields for harvesting wheat during night time. They will also convene meetings regarding procurement of wheat with all stake holders etc.To ensure timely online payment to Arthiyas, PoS/swipe machines will be delivered by the banks to the Procurement Agencies and installed in all the mandies by March 27, after the issuance of the notification of mandies by the Punjab Mandi Board. Besides the DCs and SPs, others who attended the meeting included Chief Principal Secretary to Chief Minister Mr. Suresh Kumar, Chief Secretary Mr. Karan Avtar Singh, Additional Chief Secretary (Home) Mr. NS Kalsi, Additional Chief Secretary (Finance) Mr. Satish Chandra, Director General of Police Mr. Suresh Arora, Principal Secretary Health Mrs. Vinnie Mahajan, Principal Secretary Food and Civil Supplies Dr. Roshan Sunkaria, Special Principal Secretary to Chief Minister Mr. Gurkirat Kirpal Singh and Deputy Principal Secretary to Chief Minister Mrs. Amrit Gill.