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187.23 lakh tonnes paddy procured in Punjab

Chandigarh, Punjab Minister Bharat Bhushan Ashu on Wednesday said about 187.23 lakh metric tonnes of paddy have been procured by government agencies during the current Kharif season.
The minister for food, civil supplies and consumer affairs said the paddy procurement in Punjab commenced on October 3 and ended on November 30.
During this period, a total of 188.20 lakh metric tonnes (LMT) of paddy had arrived in the Punjab mandis, out of which 187.23 LMT has been procured by all government agencies including Food Corporation of India (FCI) at the minimum support price (MSP) of Rs 1,960 per quintal.
Only 97,000 MT of paddy has been procured by private traders, he said, as per an official statement here.
He further said Rs 36,257.30 crore has already been transferred into bank accounts of over 8,20,174 beneficiary farmers of the state.
The minister said the state government led by Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi had established 3,109 purchase centres, including 1,872 notified mandis and 1,237 temporary yards during the procurement season amid the ongoing pandemic to avoid the coronavirus spread and facilitate the farmers.
Ashu said the state government had constituted over 150 flying squads comprising 1,500 employees to check bogus billing and unauthorised arrival of paddy from other states.
Apart from this, check posts were set up at 93 places across the borders of Punjab and teams checked 49,135 vehicles, leading to 11 FIRs by Punjab Police against 30 accused attempting to import paddy illegally from other states.
He said a total of 4,695.20 quintals of paddy were seized from 21 vehicles during the drive.
Ashu said with a view to tackling the shortage of gunny bags this season, the Punjab government especially arranged such bags from West Bengal. PTI