Punjab Food, Civil and Supplies Minister Bharat Bhushan Ashu and Industry Minister Gurkirat Singh Kotli on Sunday kick-started the paddy procurement in Asia’s biggest grain market at Khanna.The Cabinet Ministers during their visit, said the elaborate arrangements have been made by the state government and told directions have been issued to make sure that every single grain of paddy procured and lifted without any sort of delay. They asked the officers of all procurement agencies, Mandi Board and district administrations in all the state to ensure timely payment of the produce to the farmers.They said that arrangements for saving produce from rain or showers are already in place. Besides, the facilities of power, sheds for the farmers, portable water supply and equipment to monitor the quality of paddy have also been provided in each procurement centre.They stated the paddy has been cultivated on around 2.57 lakh hectare in Ludhiana and around 17.53 lakh MT paddy is expected to be arrived in the grain markets. He said that the apart from 108 regular grain markets in the Ludhiana, the 94 temporary yards and 203 mandi yards in Mills have also been idenfitied to decongest the grain markets.
They told that the state government has already evolved a viable mechanism for lifting grains within 48 hours of the procurement and thanked Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi for raising the issue with Prime Minister after which union government allowed procurement from today.They said that all these steps have ensured smooth, hassle free and prompt procurement and lifting of grains besides timely payment to the farmers.They said that the department has already started a campaign against malpractice of bogus billing and several teams have been formed to nab the culprits.Earlier, they also held a meeting with the arhtiyas in the office of Market Commitee Khanna.Prominent among those present on the occasion included Zila Parishad Chairman Yadwinder Singh Jandiali, Arhtiya Association Khanna President Harbans Singh Rosha, Market Committee Khanna chairman Gurdeep Singh Rasulra, SDM Manjeet Kaur, DFSC Harveen Kaur, besides several others.