In view of advance arrival of paddy in the state mandis, the Punjab government has ordered to start procurement from September 27, 2020, instead of October 1.
The state government has directed to lift the procured crop within 48-hours.
Divulging details, the Food and Civil Supplies Minister Bharat Bhushan Ashu said: "The state government was receiving information regarding the arrival of paddy crop in mandis thus the state had decided to start procurement from September 27, in full pace, instead of October 1, 2020, as announced earlier."
He informed that as many as 4,035 places had been notified as procurement centres across the state in order to protect the farmers, labourers, Arthiyas and those involved in procurement, lifting and transpiration from COVID-19 pandemic in these trying circumstances.
Out of total 4,035 procurement centres, the Minister said, 1,871 were government Mandis while 2,164 were public places and premises of mills, which had been notified as procurement centres to keep the spread of corona at bay.
He further pointed out that the Central government had announced the MSP of Rs 1,888 for the A-grade paddy.
The state government had made elaborate arrangements as ensured at the time of wheat procurement so that health protocols especially social distancing could be followed meticulously amid coronavirus situation, he stressed.
In view of COVID-19 outbreak, all concerned authorities involved in the procurement process have been directed to strictly follow the health protocols besides ensuring the availability of soap for washing hands, availability of water and sanitisers having 70 per cent alcohol at the procurement centres.
The Minister further stated that the procurement operations would continue till November 30 and the Punjab Mandi Board would issue passes to farmers through Arthiyas as given at the time of rabi crop with a different colour of passes every day. (ANI)