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Punjab Mandi Board Strengthening Agro Supply Chain: H Brar

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H Brar

Elets Technomedia organised India Transformation Summit to showcase how India is leapfrogging to be an example for other developing nations. With the Government of India’s attempts and various schemes and programmes, the country has taken leaps in the past few years. H Brar, Additional Secretary, Punjab Mandi Board, Government of Punjab addressed a session on how Punjab Mandi Board have been backing the state’s growth and development.

Mr Brar initiated with a brief about Punjab Mandi Board. He said, “The board was established in the 1960s before the green revolution in Punjab. The board was set up with an aim to regulate the marketing of the agriculture produce as earlier there were a few farmers in the state and they were exploited with lesser rates.” Adding on the functions of the Mandi Board, he added, the board provides the infrastructural development in the rural areas, finances for water supply, rural roads, sanitation, and today there is also an insurance for the farmers of up to Rs 5 lakhs which is free of cost.

“Punjab is predominantly an agricultural state but we also have our strengths in industries as there are many companies set up like Hero, Trident, Pepsico, Ardent, etc. This is because Punjab is ranked second in the ease of logistics in India due to good connectivity, open roads, etc. We have a vibrant Industry Policy 2017 which has contributed majorly in getting industries in the state”, told Mr Brar. In addition, there is a single department called ‘Punjab Invest’ which looks after the licensing and setting up of companies. This improves the state’s ease of doing business. This is a single point contact for any business or industry-related concerns in the state, he added.

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While concluding his address to the session, Mr Brar spoke on the COVID scenario in Punjab and how Punjab Mandi Board took steps to keep up the supply chain during the crisis. Talking on the agriculture sector and procurement did during the COVID outbreak, he said, “Not a single case of COVID came in the procurement related workforce. We procured about 130 lakh metric tonnes in 40 days, we established over 4000 procurement centres. Earlier the centres were 180 but to ensure lower footfall in every mandi we increased the number of centres.”

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