Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Thursday asked officials across districts to keep an eye on activities of middlemen during the ongoing paddy procurement in the state and ensure that farmers are paid within 72 hours. Adityanath's remarks, made at a meeting held to review the functioning of paddy procurement centres, come in the backdrop of the continuing deadlock between farmers and the Centre over the recently enacted agricultural reform laws.
Farmers from different states, including Uttar Pradesh, have been camping at Delhi borders for four weeks now to demand repeal of the laws, which they fear will take away the safety net of the minimum support price (MSP) system and leave them at the mercy of corporates. Stating that some people were trying to create hurdles in the ongoing paddy procurement, Adityanath asked the officials to take strict action against them, an official spokesperson said.
He also directed the police and administration to keep an eye on the activities of middlemen at the paddy purchase centres and ensure that farmers receive the payment for their produce in 72 hours. The chief minister said jails would be the permanent address of all those indulging in any kind of fraud with farmers as safeguarding their interests is the top priority of his government, an official spokesperson said.
No one will be allowed to harm the interests of farmers, be it any official, employee, or private institution, he said. Adityanath asked the officials to ensure that farmers face no problems in selling their produce. He also directed senior district officials including district magistrates, commissioners, and chief development officers to set up teams for regular inspection of paddy purchase centres.
The chief minister said his government has a zero tolerance policy towards corruption, according to the spokesperson. He said there should be no laxity in cases pertaining to corruption of government staff at any level, the spokesperson said.