'Wheat producing states did not give quota to Centre': NCP

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Nagpur, Oct 6 (UNI) The eight major wheat-producing states did not deliver their quota of wheat to the Centre, thereby forcing imports for maintaining the buffer stock in the country, according to NCP Maharashtra unit Vice-President Ashok Dhawad.

Speaking to newsmen here today, he said that the governments of Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh (UP), Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh (MP), Gujarat, Bihar and Uttarakhand had adopted a stand of 'non-cooperation' with the union government.

''These states unnecessarily politicised the issue, whereas it pertains to the welfare of the people, especially the poor section, because the wheat procured is meant for public distribution system,'' he alleged.

There had been lack of cooperation from the states in spite of a bumper crop of 748.9 lakh tonnes of wheat during 2006-07 in the country, Mr Dhawad said. The previous NDA government in New Delhi was to blame for the problem because it had not increased the minimum support price (MSP) for wheat during its regime, he said.

The decision to import wheat was collective, and was made for the benefit of the poor, the former member of the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly said, adding that there was absolutely no corruption in the deal since it was not possible in transactions between two governments.

Denying BJP's allegation that the wheat being imported was of inferior quality and not fit for human consumption, Mr Dhawad, who is also a member of NCP's national council, said that the consignments were not allowed to land unless certified for quality and fitness by government agencies like the State Trading Corporation (STC).

The BJP was making wild allegations because it had no concrete issues on its agenda, he added.

UNI

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