The state last season had procured about 127 lakh metric tonnes of paddy.

"We have made arrangements for procuring 140 lakh tonnes of paddy for the Kharif marketing season," a Punjab Food and Civil supplies department official said here on Sunday.

The state government has sought cash credit limit of about Rs 22,000 crore from RBI for the paddy purchase, he added.

With state government gearing up for paddy procurement from October 1, Punjab Food and Civil Supplies Minister Adaish Pratap Singh Kairon on Sunday directed all the heads of the state procurement agencies and Food Corporation of India (FCI) to personally supervise the process for the same across the state so as to ensure prompt lifting of the paddy as per their allotted share of procurement.

Of the total paddy, state-owned Pungrain will procure 25 percent while Punsup, Markfed, Punjab Agro, FCI and PSWC will buy 23 percent, 22 percent, 9 percent, 10 percent and 11 percent, respectively.

A total of 1,806 purchase centres have been set across the state for the Kharif Marketing season.

Reviewing the paddy procurement arrangements, Kairon said all out efforts would be made to ensure smooth, hassle-free and quick procurement of paddy. Farmers should not be put to any inconvenience for the sale of their produce at the mandis, he added.

Meanwhile, in line with a directive from the Centre, Punjab government has decided to use 40-kg gunny bags instead of the 35-kg ones for paddy procurement. The move will save Rs 200 crore.

Switching to the larger bags would bring down the requirement to 6.30 lakh gunny bags from the earlier 7.20 lakh bags which will result in a huge saving on costs incidental to the purchase of paddy, the official said.

Minister asked the concerned officers to ensure that there would be no shortage of gunny bags for storage of grains.

Minimum Support Price (MSP) for paddy Grade A and Common variety has been kept at Rs 1,400 per quintal and Rs 1,360 per quintal, respectively.

Kairon also appealed to paddy growers to bring dry and mature grains to the markets for early sale.

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