To ensure smooth and easy procurement of wheat, Punjab Chief Secretary Vinnie Mahajan gave clear instructions to the police and other concerned departments here to ensure that not a single grain of wheat was allowed to enter the Mandis from outside and the police Teams should be deployed at inter-state borders to curb illegal trade.
He also instructed to lift the crop from the Mandis within 72 hours of purchase and ensure timely payment to the farmers. Presiding over a virtual meeting to review the procurement activities here, the Chief Secretary said that the Punjab Government has made detailed arrangements for this season, including proper availability of sanitizers, soaps, foot washbasins, and face masks. Vaccination camps have also been set up in the Mandis to strictly follow the Kovid protocols to meet the challenging task of procurement of wheat during the epidemic.
Additional Chief Secretary Development Aniruddha Tiwari apprised the Chief Secretary that the state government has set up 4,000 procurement centers across the state for procurement of wheat from the farmers at MSP and the Punjab Mandi Board has provided commission to the farmers. More than 4.48 lakh passes have been issued to ensure the phased procurement process of the crop in the Mandis in the wake of the corona crisis.
Removing the suspicion of shortage of bags, Principal Secretary Food and Civil Supplies K.A.P. Sinha told the meeting that the state has an adequate quantity of bandana available, so there is no need to panic. At present, the state has about 2.6 lakh bales available.
He further said that the entire process of payment to farmers and middlemen has been completed. He said that so far bills of Rs 100 crore have been submitted, which will be passed soon.
D.G.P. Dinkar Gupta assured that more police teams would be deployed at inter-state check-posts to strictly curb illegal transportation of wheat from other states. He directed the Commissioners of Police and SSPs to keep a close watch on the movement of trucks and trolleys entering their respective districts from outside.