Punjab Imposes Strictures On Illegal Entry Of Wheat
The Punjab government has instructed officials to maintain vigil and ensure action against illegal transportation of wheat from other states.
While procurement of wheat is currently going on in the state, Punjab Chief Secretary Vini Mahajan asked police and administration to take adequate measures. The state will deploy enforcement teams at borders to check the illegal trade.
Wheat is allegedly procured at cheaper rates elsewhere and sold in Punjab as per minimum support prices (MSP).
Last week, district authorities in Bathinda confiscated reportedly over 25,000 bags of wheat. These bags, each weighing 50 kg, were being transported illegally from other states.
The Chief Secretary directed authorities to ensure procurement of the crop within 72 hours and timely payment to the farmers.
Chairing a virtual meeting to review the ongoing wheat procurement operations in the state, Mahajan stated that the Punjab government has made elaborate arrangements for adequate availability of sanitisers, soaps, foot-operator washbasins, and face masks.
While Covid protocols have being implemented in the Mandis, vaccination camps have also been set up for visitors.
Additional Chief Secretary, Development, Anirudh Tewari apprised the Chief Secretary that the state government has designated 4,000 purchase centres. These have been set up across the state for procurement of wheat at MSP from the farmers.
Punjab Mandi Board has issued over 4.48 lakh passes to the farmers through Arhtiyas (commission agents) to ensure the staggered arrival of crop in the mandis in view of the Covid crisis, Tewari added.
Allaying fears of shortage of bardana (gunny bags), Principal Secretary, Food and Civil Supplies, KAP Sinha informed the meeting that sufficient bardana was available in the state and there was no need to panic. Presently, as many as 2.6 lakh bales were available.
He said that the process for making the payments has been completed. Till date, bills amounting to Rs 100 crore have been submitted and it will be cleared shortly, he added.
Director General of Police (DGP) Dinkar Gupta assured that more police teams will be deployed at inter-state check-posts to stop the illegal transportation of wheat crop from other states.
He directed the Commissioners of Police and all Senior Superintendents of Police to strictly monitor the movement of trucks and trolleys entering their respective districts.
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