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Centre orders immediate procurement of paddy in Punjab, Haryana to 'pacify' agitating farmers

The Kharif Marketing Season (KMS) 2020-21 for paddy was scheduled to commence in all the procuring states from October 1.

Published: 26th September 2020 03:52 PM  |   Last Updated: 27th September 2020 12:00 PM   |  A+A-

For representational purposes

CHANDIGARH:  In an apparent effort to placate the agitating famers in Punjab and Haryana, the Union Government advanced the procurement of paddy in both the states citing advance arrival of paddy this year.

The procurement season was scheduled to begin on October 1 but it started on Saturday itself with the Union Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution issuing the orders. The farmers will get the Minimum Support Price for their produce. 

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“In view of early arrival of paddy in the ‘mandis’ of Haryana and Punjab, Government of India has approved the commencement of procurement operations for paddy/rice immediately in both these states from today i.e. with effect from 26th September, 2020 to ensure that farmers are facilitated in selling their produce at Minimum Support Price (MSP) expeditiously,” a statement issued by the ministry stated.

Reacting to the development, Bharatiya Kisan Union (Rajewal Group) president Balbir Singh Rajewal said the farmers protest against the farm reform bills passed in parliament last week had made the Centre afraid and jittery.  

But the tactic would not work as the farmers were wise enough to understand their political motive. “The demonstrations will continue.” 

Echoing the same sentiments, Bharatiya Kisan Union (Pannu Group) president Satnam Singh Pannu said “this attempt by the central government to advance the procurement date by four days to defuse the protest in Punjab will not work out.”

 But Gurnam Singh Charuni, president of the Haryana Bharatiya Kisan Union, played safe and said: “I would not like to comment on this as it can have a negative effect on the famers. We have been demanding that the government should buy the paddy at MSP and now they have advanced the date to start the procurement.”

The Punjab and Haryana governments, meanwhile, have ordered the start of procurement from Sunday instead of October 1.

Instructions were issued to lift the procured crop within 48-hours. Punjab Food & Civil Supplies minister Bharat Bhushan Ashu said the government had received information of arrival of paddy crop in mandis. He claimed the state was committed to lifting every single grain of the farmers produce.



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