CHANDIGARH: Punjab is ready for the harvest of bumper wheat crop of 182 lakh tonnes, a record of sorts, from April 15 and for this the government has made elaborate arrangements amid the coronavirus pandemic, an official said on Sunday.
The government expects over 137 lakh tonnes of wheat would arrive in grain markets.
Taking stock of the arrangements, Additional Chief Secretary (Development) Viswajeet Khanna said all arrangements are in place by the Mandi Board for the procurement that will continue till May 31.
And if need be, it will be on till June 15.
He said the cash credit limit of Rs 22,900 crore has been approved by the Centre to ensure prompt procurement in all 22 districts by creating 3,691 purchase centres, including 153 main yards, 280 sub-yards, 1,434 purchase centres, besides 1,824 yards of rice mills.
He said nearly 137 lakh tonnes of wheat is expected to arrive, out of which 135 lakh tonnes would be purchased by government agencies and the remaining by private traders.
Khanna said the Centre has fixed the minimum support price (MSP) of wheat at Rs 1,925 per quintal against Rs 1,840 in last year.
A total of 17,500 combine harvesters would be operating for harvesting the crop in the state.
Against the total requirement of 4.82 lakh gunny bales, 3.05 lakh have already been made available.
To avoid crowding, Khanna said an action plan has been prepared to undertake procurement by staggering arrival of produce in the markets by issuing coupons fixed with holograms to the farmers through commission agents.
With each coupon, a farmer will be entitled to bring one trolley of about 50 to 70 quintals of wheat. A farmer will be entitled to take multiple coupons each day or on different days depending on space in the purchase centre in order to avoid rush in the mandis.
About 27 lakh such coupons would be issued by the market committees to the 'arthiyas'.