Chandigarh September 15: While expressing satisfaction over the adequate arrangements made for hassle-free procurement of paddy to be brought by farmers in 192 mandis and Bajra in 23 mandis of the State, Haryana Chief Minister Mr Manohar Lal directed that a senior IAS officer should be deputed in every district for conducting regular inspection of mandis on the pattern of previous wheat procurement season.
Mr Manohar Lal gave these directions while presiding over a meeting of Food and Supplies and Agriculture Department held here late night yesterday.
It was informed in the meeting that all the food-grains conforming to the prescribed specification offered for sale at specified mandis and purchase centres would be procured by the procurement agencies at the Minimum Support Price (MSP) of Rs 1450 per quintal for grade-A and Rs 1410 per quintal for common variety. Similarly, in coarse grains, Bajra and Jowar of hybrid variety would be procured at MSP of Rs 1275 per quintal and Maize (Maladandi) at MSP of Rs 1325 per quintal. The Chief Minister asked the department to pursue the request of the State government for beginning procurement of paddy before the usual onset of the season on 1st October.
The Chief Minister directed that all the Deputy Commissioners would ensure that the district milling committees are held their regular meetings. He said that the District Milling Committee should allot the paddy to the rice millers after going through the previous three years record of the rice millers, if the rice millers is doing the work of Custom Milled Rice (CMR). In case of the new rice millers, their financial position and capability would also be examined. Apart from this, allocation of paddy would be decided at Headquarter and the proceedings of the District Milling Committee meeting would be forwarded to Director General Food and Supplies for approval. CCTV cameras would be installed at the entry and exit gate of every rice mill. First preference in allotment of paddy would be given to rice millers having own sortex plant and drier followed by rice mills without these facilities and rice mills on lease.
The Chief Minister said that these preventive arrangements should help the department and its procurement agencies in not suffering losses on account of undelivered CMR or embezzlement by the rice millers or arthias in connivance with the staff of procurement agencies.
It was decided in the meeting that the purchase of paddy and bajra would be made by the agencies on MSP strictly as per parameters or specifications. The procurement agencies would ensure that the farmers do not, in any way, get price lower than the MSP and forced to resort to any distress sale of their produce. In case, however, any stocks arrived in Mandis do not conform to specifications, the same should be got improved by cleaning, drying or blending with good quality of paddy etc. In this connection, the farmers would be advised or educated by the staff of the Market Committees as well the procurement agencies.
The Chief Minister said that the procurement agencies must ensure that the purchase of paddy or bajra is made as per specifications and by carrying out proper visual inspections of stocks. The laboratory staff of the department that is Head Analyst and Junior Analyst would also be associated while effecting purchase. To ascertain moisture contents in paddy and bajra, moisture meters should be kept in every mandi by each procuring agency and Haryana State Agricultural Marketing Board (HSAMB). For the convenience of the farmers, two boards in Hindi indicating specifications of paddy and bajra as laid down by Centre Government and the price payable would be displayed at prominent and conspicuous places in each mandi. In case of big mandis the number of such board might be increased according to need.
The Chief Minister also said that it would be the responsibility of the procurement agencies to ensure that representative samples or paddy and bajra were properly drawn everyday in each mandi and analyzed in order to determine its proper quality. While ascertaining the quality of paddy and bajra, it must be ensured that the interest of the farmers is fully protected. Also, it would be necessary for the procurement agencies to exercise strict supervision and control at all stages of operations so as to ensure that there are no malpractices or manipulations in transactions of the procurement. As per the present policy of the Central Government for procurement of coarse grains, all payments to the farmer would be made through account payee cheque or online.
In was informed in the meeting that HSAMB has already made mandatory for every Arhtia to have electric fans or jharnas, sufficient labour, wooden crates, polythene covers etc. This facility could be availed by any farmer to bring his produce upto the prescribed specifications. The staff of the Market Committees and Procurement Agencies must ensure that every arhtia in the mandis has made arrangements of this cleaning facility.
Haryana Agriculture Minister Mr O.P Dhankar, Minister of State for Food and Supplies Mr Karan Dev Kamboj, Principal Secretary to Chief Minister Mr Sanjeev Kaushal and Special Principal Secretary Mr Rajesh Khullar, Additional Chief Secretary Food and Supplies Mr S.S Prasad, Additional Chief Secretary Agriculture Mr Dhanpat Singh, Chief Administrator Haryana State Agricultural Marketing Board (HSAMB) Mr Anil Malik and senior officers of all State Procurement Agencies were also present in the meeting.