Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Wednesday directed all procurement agencies to ensure prompt lifting and timely payment to farmers through the newly introduced Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) system during the ongoing Rabi Marketing Season (RMS) 2021.
Reviewing the wheat procurement progress, Captain Amarinder Singh also ordered strict adherence to the Covid protocols amid the current surge.
He urged all those farmers, arhtiyas, labourers, employees of procurements agencies and other stakeholders in Punjab, above the age of 45, visiting the grain markets to get themselves vaccinated at the Covid vaccination camps in all 154 market committees across the state.
On inquiring about the availability of gunny bags, the Chief Minister was informed by Principal Secretary, Food, Civil Supplies & Consumer Affairs, KAP Sinha that the issue had been sorted out and there was no shortage.
Some instances of shortage were reported earlier from some Mandis as the Department of Food & Public Distribution, Government of India, had allocated fewer bales in contrast to the requirement of the State agencies and early arrivals had pushed up demand, he said.
However, after the permission for use of good quality used bags arranged by the arthiyas was obtained from the GOI on April 18, 2021, there has been no shortage of bags and as of now, 19.19 crore gunny bags have already been used for packaging of wheat, the meeting was informed.
He expressed satisfaction at the smooth procurement amid the challenges faced by the state due to the ongoing farmers; agitation against the farm laws passed by the Centre, the initial hostility of the arthiyas towards the Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) system, scarcity of labour, shortage of bales, as well as heavy and quick early arrivals, along with the surge in Covid cases in the state.
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