Mumbai: Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Thursday said the government will make a provision of Rs 1,000 crore to procure tur that has reached the NAFED centres by April 22.
He said the government would procure tur only from those farmers, who have registered themselves at the National Agricultural Co-operative Marketing Federation (NAFED) centres and have been given tokens.
Random checks will be conducted to find out if the tur has been brought by farmers or traders, he said here.
"If it is found that traders have brought tur, strict criminal action will be taken against them," Fadnavis said.
He added that district collectors have been authorised to purchase the material required for the procurement and storage of tur.
Out of the 11 lakh tonnes of tur procured in the country so far, four lakh tonnes is from Maharashtra, Fadnavis said adding that this was a record procurement in the last one year.
Karnataka has procured 2 lakh tonnes of tur, Gujarat 1.25 lakh tonnes and 0.85 lakh tonnes in Madhya Pradesh, he said. "Once the entire procurement is done, 45 per cent of the procurement will be from Maharashtra," he said.
Hitting out at the opposition for criticising his government over the issue, Fadnavis said in 2011-2012, the UPA government had set up NAFED centres and only 20,000 tonnes of tur had been procured and farmers did not get money for nine months after procurement.
"The previous government did not extend the tur procurement date after March 15, 2012. While we gave extension till April 22. We have given money to farmers in seven days," the Chief Minister said.
Yesterday, at the meeting with the Food and Civil Supplies Ministry and the PMO in Delhi, concerns were expressed that whether only farmers were bringing tur to the procurement centres or even traders were using this facility, he said.
"More than one lakh tonnes is yet to be procured. I have assured that it will be procured and through satellite imagery, it would be checked if the tur brought to the centres by a particular farmer was grown at his farm," Fadnavis said.
Meanwhile, the Shiv Sena claimed that the Chief Minister's assurance of procuring tur from the farmers, who brought it to the centres by April 22, came following the demand from the party.
"The Shiv Sena ministers met Fadnavis and made the demand," state Environment Minister Ramdas Kadam said.
Kadam said the delegation of Sena ministers told the Chief Minister that due to the decision to stop procurement on April 22, tur brought by farmers is lying at the market committees across the state.
"So, the Chief Minister assured that those farmers, who brought their tur to the centres by April 22 and have been given tokens, will be able to sell their produce at the centres, while those farmers who don't have tokens will have to sell their produce to traders," Kadam said.
Farmers get Rs 5,500 per quintal at the NAFED centres, while traders pay Rs 4,000 per quintal to them, he said.