According to FCI data, during the kharif season of 2020-21, procurement agencies in Punjab collected 159.4% more paddy than marketable surplus and Haryana 285% more.
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In Punjab-Haryana, government rice procurement is 150% higher than the marketable surplus (marketable surplus) for production.
One year earlier, in 2019-20, 131% of the marketable surplus was purchased in Punjab and 297% in Haryana. According to the first forecast for the year 2021-22, Punjab has produced 180 lakh tonnes of paddy, against which it has a procurement target of 250 lakh tonnes. This time the target is to collect 133% more rice than the surplus.
FCI officials believe that surplus rice procured in Punjab and Haryana is being procured cheaply from UP, Bihar and Rajasthan. Artists, millers, Mandi board officials, state and central officials from the food and marketing department are also participating in the game. State government officials, however, argue that the rice yield is coming in higher than the government estimates and that those varieties will give higher yields.
In Punjab and Haryana, basmati rice accounts for the bulk of the total production, which is not procured by the government, but is sold in the open market. In this way the quantity of rice coming from other states will be even higher.
According to the Punjab Agriculture Department, a total of 27.36 lakh hectares of paddy has been sown this year, of which 6.50 lakh hectares are basmati and 20.86 lakh hectares are non-basmati.
Fazilka Mandi agent Sanjeev, from Punjab, admits that most of the rice in Rajasthan comes from Punjab and the rice comes directly from UP. However, this time the mapping has been done and the farmers have already registered and will buy only as much as they say on the portal. The effect of rigidity is visible.
Games worth over Rs 22,000 crore
Of the 673.53 lakh metric tonnes of paddy in the country during the 2020-21 kharif season, Punjab alone accounted for 202.8 lakh metric tonnes (30%). That is 20 lakh tonnes more than the total production of 182 lakh metric tonnes in the state.
In the year 2020-21, the value of paddy sold by Punjab-Haryana to MSP exceeds the marketable surplus by about Rs 22,200 crore. If they are bought and sold in Mandis at a lower rate than UP-Bihar, it can be understood as any level of game. In the kharif season 2020-21, the CBI has also launched an investigation into over-purchasing of marketable surplus, but it has not even made any progress.
Purchase record broken in Haryana
Up to 300% of the marketable surplus in the state has been collected in rice in recent years. Hafed’s CGM RP Sahni, a government procurement agency in Haryana, said the paddy came from an electronic gate pass inside Mandi, where he buys it and the money goes online. That is our job.
Got everything from bottom to top
“There are 30,000 artisans in Punjab and if everyone buys two more trucks, there will be 60,000 trucks,” a senior Agriculture Ministry official in Punjab said on the condition of anonymity. Gurdeep Singh, chairman of Khanna Mandi in Punjab, said that this would continue and that everything from the bottom to the top would be tumultuous. But this time the limit is very strict.
Uttar Pradesh-Bihar do not have their own storage capacity
Punjab and Haryana have higher storage capacity, but not in UP-Bihar. Punjab has a capacity of 139 lakh tonnes of FCI and 113.4 lakh tonnes of state agencies. Haryana has a storage capacity of 70.09 lakh tonnes of FCI and 89.5 lakh tonnes of state agencies. The capacity of FCI in UP is 62.2 lakh tonnes, in Bihar it is 12.27 lakh tonnes and the capacity of state agencies is only 4.26 lakh tonnes.
Punjab earns heavily every year from FCI
According to FCI officials, Mandi collects Rs 1,900 crore every year from the FCI in the form of mandi fees and rural development tax. About Rs 65-70 lakh crore goes directly to Punjab every year, including farmers, workers, transporters, finance commission, procurement agencies and administrative charges. The Arthias Commission in Punjab is worth Rs.1200 crore annually.