Despite 42 per cent deficient rains during the last monsoon, Punjab has succeeded to procure more than 133 lakh metric tonnes of paddy in the current kharif season as compared to 118 lakh MTs last year, setting a new record for national food grains’ buffer.

An official release quoting a spokesman of the State Government on Monday, while attributing the new record to the toil by the farmers who incurred an extra expenditure of Rs. 900 crore on diesel to save the paddy, pointed out that the government had provided free electricity worth Rs. 5200 crore to farm sector.

The release said that according to the latest figures the State-owned agency, PUNGRAIN topped the procurement chart by mopping up 29.6 per cent of the arrivals. It was followed by PUNSUP and MARKFED that procured 22.8 per cent each. While the State agencies procured 95.4 per cent of the paddy that arrived in the procurement centres, private millers purchased 4.6 per cent.

Ludhiana district with 15.74 lakh MTs led the procurement operations, while Sangrur with 15.59 lakh MTs was at second slot and Patiala at 12.40 lakh MTs ranked third.