Chandigarh, Oct 3 : A day after protests erupted across the agrarian states Punjab and Haryana with the postponing procurement of paddy to October 11, the Centre on Sunday started procurement in both states.
Expressing gratitude to Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his immediate personal intervention to advise the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution to start procurement, Punjab Chief Minister Charanjit Channi said this decision would be now instrumental in ensuring smooth and hassle-free procurement to the satisfaction of the farmers.
The Chief Minister met Modi on October 1, who had assured him of early resolution of this issue.
In Haryana, a government official said the farmers whose schedule for selling the paddy was fixed for October 1 and 2 could bring their paddy for sale on Sunday.
The work of procurement will be done according to the schedule from Monday.
The Centre has fixed a target for procurement of 170 lakh tonnes of paddy in Punjab.
However, as per state estimates, 191 lakh tonnes is expected.
The original procurement date for paddy at the minimum support price (MSP) was October 1 in Punjab.
In Haryana, it was officially due to have started on September 25.
The Centre had said delaying the paddy procurement was in the "overall interest of farmers and consumers as well because of the untimely rains, maturity of paddy grains is delayed".