To streamline the procurement of wheat in a staggered manner, the Council of Ministers today decided to increase purchase centres from existing 1,820 to 5,000, by including premises of rice shellers across the state.
Each purchase centre will cater to two to three villages, so that there was no crowding. Against the initial plan of collection of wheat from each village, the Cabinet, led by the Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh, decided to issue tokens with one-day validity to each of the farmers through the arhtiya concerned. The token will have an official hologram to check its misuse.
It was discussed in the Cabinet meeting that as Covid-19 positive cases were increasing, the outbreak could peak in the coming weeks. This could necessitate extension of the curfew and strict implementation of social distancing, especially in wake of involvement of large workforce in harvesting and procurement of wheat.
The details of procurement arrangements should be notified by April 8, the Council of Ministers decided. To ensure timely payment to farmers, it has been decided that payments shall be made to the arhtiyas within 48 hours and they will, in turn, pay the farmers for the produce within the next 48 hours.
Tribune News Service