Chandigarh: Punjab government on Thursday constituted a three-member committee for the smooth and prompt procurement of paddy crop in the ongoing kharif marketing season.

Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal on Thursday constituted this committee comprising Chief Secretary, Principal Secretary to Chief Minister and Secretary Food & Civil Supplies in this regard, said an official release.

He also asked the Chief Secretary and his Principal Secretary to monitor the progress of paddy procurement across the state on daily basis to ensure smooth lifting of crop.

The Chief Minister also asked the Chief Secretary to make Deputy Commissioners relatively free from the burden of other routine administrative works to enable them to solely focus on the procurement.

The Chief Minister was apprised by the Secretary Food and Civil Supplies D S Grewal the ongoing standoff by the staff of the state procurement agencies have been amicably resolved with the personal intervention of state food and civil supplies minister Adesh Pratap Singh Kairon during a meeting held in Chandigarh on Thursday with their representatives, who assured to start the procurement operations in the mandis allotted to them tomorrow.

Hundreds of employees of state-owned procurement agencies, including Punsup, Pungrain, Markfed, have been boycotting lifting operations in the state, which has hit farmers.

Referring to the shortage of jute bags, Grewal informed the Chief Minister that it would be soon sorted out as they had sufficient stock of jute bags for 100 lakh tonnes of paddy against the expected target of 135 lakh tonnes.

He assured the deputy commissioners, the Department was fully geared to ensure to make uniform supply of gunny bags in all the mandis across the state.

He also told the Chief Minister that Kairon would soon hold a separate meeting with the rice millers of the state for the storage of paddy in the state in which he would also discuss the smooth implementation of new paddy milling policy 2012-13 with all the major stake holders.

Badal also asked the Secretary Food & Civil Supplies to depute a Deputy Director exclusively to handle the affairs of lifting and milling of paddy in Ferozepur till the procurement operations were over.

Apart from this, he also asked the department of Food & Civil Supplies to set up 24X7 control room under the direct control and supervision of Additional Director to oversee the procurement operations on war footing in order to ensure prompt redressal of grievances from the procurement agencies as well as the farmers.

Badal also asked the heads of the state procurement agencies to regularly visit the mandis for on the spot assessment of procurement operations on one hand and to provide logistics support on the other.


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