Minister of Food, Civil Supplies & Consumer Affairs (FCS&CA), Choudhary Zulfkar Ali Sunday inaugurated the maiden Maize Procurement Mandi at Siot in district Rajouri.
It is the first Mandi of its kind in the entire North India.
Felicitating the people of the area for getting the Mandi, the Minister said setting up of Maize Procurement Mandi at Siot would not only save the people of the area from the exploitation they faced through middlemen but it will also help transform the socio-economic profile of the area.
He said the first maize procurement mandi is being established in Rajouri district as the area holds the distinction of producing highest quantity of maize in the entire State.
The Minister said that the maize would be procured at the Mandi at "Minimum Support Price (MSP)", fixed by the Government of India. He said the Government has set a target of 2000 metric tons of maize to be procured in the State this year. He added the money would be directly transferred into the bank accounts of the seller to do away with the role of the middlemen. He said the farmers will get competitive returns on their produce and save them from making distress sale of the same.
The Minister informed that last year around 1.10 lakh quintals of paddy was procured Rs 1400 by the Government, while the farmer got around Rs 800 for the same crop from private buyers.
He said under Mufti Mohammad Sayeed Food Entitlement Scheme (MMSFES) the government procures rice at around Rs 25, and sells at Rs 15, which puts additional burden on the State exchequer. He said all this is done only for the welfare of people in the State.
Member Legislative Assembly (MLA), Ravinder Raina, Member Legislative Council (MLC) Surinder Choudhary, Director FCS&CA G S Chib, Additional Deputy Commissioner Rajouri, General Manager Food Corporation of India (FCI) Kishore Kumar, Vice-Chairman Kissan Welfare Board Daljeet Singh Chib were among the dignitaries present on the occasion.