Chandigarh, Apr 20 (IANS): Punjab Food and Civil Supplies Minister Bharat Bhushan Ashu said under the Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) scheme, direct payments of more than Rs 2,600 crore have been made to accounts of farmers till Tuesday.
He said the payments of Rs 4,200 crore would be cleared by Wednesday.
He assured the farmers that every single grain produced by them would be procured by the state government.
In a statement here, the minister said that 54 lakh metric tonnes of wheat has arrived in markets, out of which 50 lakh metric tonnes has already been procured and more than 20 lakh metric tonnes by various government agencies.
He assured that both procurement as well as lifting would be speed up in coming days.
On the issue of 'bardana' (storage bags), Ashu said due to Covid-19 and elections in West Bengal, many of the jute mills are shut, leading to shortage of jute bags across the country.
He said they had even taken up this issue with the Jute Commissioner, but it also failed to help the state. He said that there was some shortage of 'bardana' initially, but now the matter has been resolved.
He said that on April 12, the Centre has allowed the state for the use of used 'bardana' by 'arhtiyas', for which Rs 41.90 per bag has been fixed.
On the issue of DBT, Ashu said the state government has already been making direct payments to the farmers since last 18 months and assured that payments to each and every farmer would be made within set stipulated time.
He said that in Punjab, both the farmers and the arhtiyas (commission agents), are happy from the ongoing wheat procurement.