New Delhi: Amid protests in Punjab and Haryana over the delay in paddy procurement, Union Minister Ashwini Kumar Choubey on Saturday said that the procurement will start from tomorrow in both states.
Choubey, who is Minister of State for Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution, met with Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar here in the national Capital. “The procurement (of Kharif crops) will start from tomorrow in Haryana as well as Punjab,” Choubey told reporters after the meeting.
Meanwhile, Khattar said, “Due to delay in monsoon, the Central Government had postponed the start of procurement of paddy and millet to October 11 from October 1 this year… There are demands for an early start. The procurement will start tomorrow.”
The decision came amid the protest by farmers in Haryana and Punjab against the Central government Friday’s decision to postpone procurement of paddy under Minimum Support Price (MSP) operation from October 1 to October 11 in Punjab and Haryana.
As per a press release issued by the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution on Friday, the Central government has decided that procurement of paddy under Minimum Support Price (MSP) operation would commence from October 11 in Punjab and Haryana and has advised all the agencies to gear up to help farmers.
Widespread rainfall has been experienced across Punjab and Haryana during the second fortnight of September and untimely showers have affected the standing paddy crop in both the agrarian states, the ministry said.
“The maximum temperature at most of the places has also been recorded below normal due to the downpour. Because of the untimely rains, the maturity of paddy grains is delayed. As per Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) data, rainfall during September is 77 per cent and 139 per cent above normal in Punjab and Haryana respectively,” read the release.
“On the basis of moisture content check by FCI’s regional offices at Punjab and Haryana, it was reported that paddy samples are having moisture ranging from 18 per cent to 22 per cent in Punjab and 18.2 per cent to 22.7 per cent in Haryana against the permissible limit of 17 per cent,” it read.