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Jharkhand: State fixes cap of 200 quintal paddy sale per farmer at procurement centres

Ranchi: Farmer can sell maximum 200 quintals of paddy at the government run procurement centres in Jharkhand this year, a first of its kind move by the state to cap the upper limit which is aimed to curb the role middlemen, officials said on Saturday. State food and civil supplies department minister Rameshwar Oraon said that they are gearing to start paddy procurement from December 15.

“We have set a target of 8 lakh metric tonnes of procurement this time. Procurement centres will be operational from December 15,” he said. Last year, state fixed a target of 6 lakh metric tonnes of procurement.

On fixing cap of 200 quintal paddy per farmer this time, the minister said that it is to curb the role of middlemen. “There were instances where some people sold up to 1000 quintals of paddy alone. Some middlemen buy them at cheaper rates from farmers and sold at procurement centres to at MSP rates. As a result, genuine farmers failed to get right amount. Hence, we have introduced cap this year so that small farmers get the benefit of MSP,” he said. 

Government has fixed Rs 2050 per quintal for normal paddy and Rs 2070 for A-grade as minimum support price (MSP). “We will give 50% payment on the spot and rest in three months. We are taking loan from SBI and Bank of India for making advance payments,” he informed.

He also said that department has initiated probe in connection to last year’s procurement. “We found 65,000 sellers having ration card and farmer’s certs too. If a farmer has farmer’s cert, he can’t have ration card and vice versa. We are probing those cases for suitable action,” he said.