Dubbing the protest staged by the rice millers as a totally politically-motivated gimmick, Punjab Food and Civil Supplies Minister Bharat Bhushan Ashu on Tuesday said that some with vested interests are playing pawns to the Shiromani Akali Dal and are trying to vitiate the paddy procurement process.
Ashu said that it was the frustration of those who could not digest the continued exemplary procurement of sixth wheat and paddy crops by the present Congress Government after taking over the reins in 2017 that they are “instigating” different stakeholders involved in the procurement process on “flimsy grounds”.
Reiterating the State Government’s commitment to conduct hassle-free procurement, Ashu said that the Government stands by all the genuine millers.
“All millers applying to the Food and Civil Supplies Department for allotment of paddy, on or before October 10, would be allotted paddy on priority,” he said adding that all of them would be suitably rewarded with increased quantum of allotment.
Meanwhile, the ongoing paddy procurement has crossed the one-lakh-mark in the state. The state government agencies and private millers have procured a total of 1,28,038 metric tonnes of paddy from various mandis across the State till October 7.
An official spokesperson of the Government said that out of the total procurement, the government agencies have procured 1,07,413 MT of paddy while 20,625 MT has been procured by the millers.
PUNGRAIN has purchased 45,504 metric tonnes, MARKFED 29,743 tonnes and PUNSUP 19,436 tonnes , Punjab State Warehousing Corporation purchased 12,022 MT while the Food Corporation of India (FCI) has purchased 708 MT paddy.