Chandigarh: Punjab and Haryana are looking to procure 156 lakh tonne of paddy for the central pool in the Kharif Marketing season (KMS) 2012-13 beginning on Saturday, which will be 8 per cent more than the last season's lifting.

Punjab, which contributes 30 per cent rice to central pool, is eyeing to procure 130 lakh tonne for KMS 2012-13 as against 115.39 lakh tonne was procured in last season.

"The arrival of paddy is expected at 130 lakh tonne this season, though arrangement for procurement of 150 lakh tone has been made," a senior official of FCI said here.

As many as 1,770 purchase centres will be set up in Punjab for the procurement while the cash credit limit amounting to Rs 22,509 crore for the purchase has been sought from RBI, an official of Punjab Food and Civil Supplies department said here.

Despite deficient rain this year, Punjab managed to bring over 28 lakh hectares of land under paddy against the target of 27.80 lakh hectares.

Punjab is looking at an output of 164 lakh tonne this year with yield of 58 quintals a hectare. "The crop is looking good this year and yield is expected to be more as well as it has been disease free," an official of Punjab Agriculture Department said here.

The procurement agencies would purchase paddy at the MSP of Rs 1,250 per quintal for Common and Rs 1,280 per quintal for Grade 'A' during the current Kharif season.

Paddy procurement for central pool in Punjab and Haryana starts from October 1.

However, arrival of paddy in Haryana is expected to dip because of drop in area under cultivation and scanty rain during June and July.

The Haryana government has made arrangement of procuring 26 lakh tonne of paddy in comparison to the arrival of about 30 lakh tonne in last season for the central pool.

Area under paddy shrunk to 10.62 lakh hectares in current season against acreage of 12.35 lakh hectares in last season, recording 14 per cent decrease in area.

Rice output in Haryana is expected to be 33.45 lakh tone against production of 37.59 lakh tonne recorded last year.     However, payment for paddy procurement to farmers will be made through the traditional system in Punjab and Haryana.

"We have not received any instruction of making direct payment to farmers during the coming season," said an official of FCI.


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