187.23 lakh metric tonnes paddy procured in Punjab

 A total of 187.23 lakh metric tonnes (MT) paddy have been procured in Punjab during the kharif season, state Food and Civil Supplies Minister Bharat Bhushan Ashu said on Wednesday.

Besides, 97,000 MT has been procured by private traders.

The minister said Rs 36,257.30 crore has been transferred into bank accounts of 820,174 beneficiaries.

He said the state had established 3,109 purchase centres for the paddy procurement.

He said the Union government had postponed the paddy procurement till October 11, which would have caused huge losses to farmers. With the intervention of Chief Minister Charanjit Channi, the Centre government had withdrawn the decision and started the procurement from October 3. The procurement season ended on November 30.

The state had constituted 150 flying squads to check bogus billing and unauthorised import of paddy from other states. A total of 4,695.20 quintals of paddy was seized from 21 vehicles during the drive.

Ashu said in a view to tackling the shortage of gunny bags, the state government especially arranged bags from West Bengal.

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