NOT EVEN SINGLE GRAIN OF WHEAT FROM OUTSIDE TO BE ALLOWED: CS

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Asks officials to ensure crop lifting within 72 hours, timely payment to farmers; Rs 100-crore bills submitted, to be cleared soon; sufficient gunny bags available with state

CHANDIGARH : In order to ensure smooth, seamless and hassle-free procurement of wheat, Punjab Chief Secretary, Ms Vini Mahajan, on Thursday issued clear instructions to the police and other departments concerned to make foolproof arrangements of not allowing even a single grain of wheat from outside the state and enforcement teams should be deployed on inter-state borders to check the illegal trade.

She also directed to ensure the lifting of the crop within 72 hours after the procurement from the mandis and timely payment to the farmers.

Chairing a virtual meeting to review the ongoing wheat procurement operations in the state, the Chief Secretary said the Punjab Government has made elaborate arrangements with the ample availability of sanitisers, soaps, foot-operator washbasins and face masks besides holding vaccination camps while strictly following the Covid protocols in the mandis to accomplish the challenging task of grain purchase amid the virus surge.

The ACS Development Anirudh Tewari apprised the Chief Secretary that the state government has designated 4,000 purchase centres across the state for procurement of wheat at minimum support price from the farmers and Punjab Mandi Board has issued over 4.48 lakh passes to the farmers through arthiyas (commission agents) to ensure the staggered arrival of crop in the mandis in view of the Covid crisis.

Allaying the fears of shortage of bardana (gunny bags), the Principal Secretary Food and Civil Supplies KAP Sinha informed the meeting that sufficient bardana was available in the state and there was no need to panic. Presently, as many as 2.6 lakh bales were available.

He further informed that the process for making the payments has been completed. Till date, bills amounting to Rs 100 crore have been submitted and the same will be cleared shortly, he added.

          The Director General of Police (DGP), Mr Dinkar Gupta, assured that more police teams will be deployed at inter-state check-posts to stop the illegal transportation of wheat crop from other states. He directed the Commissioners of Police and the SSPs in the districts to strictly monitor the movement of trucks and trolleys entering their respective districts from outside.

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