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Punjab

Punjab food minister Ashu categorically refutes media reports of Bardana shortage

PUNJAB NEWS EXPRESS | April 14, 2021 10:06 PM

CHANDIGARH: Outrightly rejecting the media reports in a section of media regarding non-availability of bales with procurement agencies as malicious propaganda, Food Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs Minister Mr Bharat Bhushan Ashu on Wednesday underlined that that there is no question of shortage of bardana in the mandies at all.

Tendering for bardana procurement is a continuous process which starts much before the season as part of planning and goes on as and when needed arises as one cannot be sure of full quantity receipt through one tender only, the Minister pointed out adding that the last tender floated on April 12 was necessitated only because permission from GoI to use used bags was received very late.

We have already got Jute bales indented through the Jute Commissioner & NAFED, Ashu said adding that PP bales are also being received from various HDPE/PP bag suppliers. This in addition to the permission to use good quality used bags, already received by the state from Govt. of India on April 12, he pointed out hitting out at those trying to create an issue where none exists.

Pointing out that season is already in full swing with farmers bringing their crops to mandies, Ashu said that as on Tuesday, 5, 44, 334 MTs of wheat has been already been procured in the mandies of the State by the procurement agencies out of which 44, 728 MT has been procured under DCP for distribution in the State under Smart Ration Card Scheme.

Urging all the farmers to follow all health advisories as a safeguard against Covid, the Minister said due arrangements have been made to ensure that farners bring their produce in a staggered way as per token issued by Mandi Board Punjab so that COVID-19 protocol can be maintained in order to curb the spread of COVID-19 pandemic.

Reiterating Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh government's commitment to ensure smooth procurement experience for farmers, Ashu said that state is fully geared up to ensure our farmers don't have to face any difficulty whatsoever during the season like last 4 years.

We have already received Cash Credit Limit of Rs. 21, 658.73 crore and online payment has already been started. Lifting of wheat from mandies is also going on smoothly and as on date 13.04.2021 we have already lifted 39285 MT wheat against lifting target (within 72 hours) of 2642 LMT wheat.

Due to situation arising with second wave strain of COVID-19 pandemic, State Government is ensuring staggered procurement by implementing token systems and bales/ bags are also being issued in the mandies as per arrival of wheat so as to prevent hoarding of bales/bags in the mandies.

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