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Chandigarh: With a whopping 34.92 LMT of wheat already procured by the state agencies till April 18, the Punjab Government is well on the track of meeting its targets for the ongoing Rabi season.

There was no slowdown in the procurement process, with Heads/Managing Directors of all the state procurement agencies personally monitoring the progress at the Mandis under the directives of Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh, an official spokesperson said on Thursday.

In case of any problem, the same should be resolved by the Heads/MDs of the agencies on the spot, without delay, the Chief Minister has instructed, making it clear that no laxity in this regard would be tolerated.

Payment against the procured grain was also being made on a timely basis, and till April 18, a total of Rs.1885.30 crores had been paid on this account, said the spokesperson.

Noting that the state government accords top priority to the wheat procurement operations in the state, the spokesperson said the state agencies were fully geared for procurement of an estimated quantity of 130 LMT of wheat.

A total of 1836 Mandis have been opened in the State so that the farmers need not have to transport their produce across large distances, the spokesperson pointed out.

The procured quantity is being simultaneously lifted from the Mandis to the Godowns of the State agencies and also being delivered to FCI for dispatch from the Mandi itself to create space for further  arrivals, said the spokesperson. And a total of 400 special trains had been planned by FCI for months of April and May 2018 for this purpose, he added.

Further, in accordance with the directives of the Government of India/ FCI, the State Government is taking steps to reduce the extra financial burden on the state procuring agencies, said the spokesperson, pointing out that, as against a premium of up to 300-400% over the basic rate last year, the tenders for transportation of wheat this year have been allotted at a maximum of 120% above the basic rate.

The government has also clarified that some problems arising out of sporadic showers in some parts of the state had been resolved, and efforts would continue to ensure that there are no disruptions in the procurement process.

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