Disclose details on wheat import, demands Somaiya

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Mumbai, Oct 12 (UNI) Former BJP MP Kirit Somaiya, while pointing out that the Government has accepted that the quality of red imported wheat is unfit for human consumption, has demanded that the Government should disclose details of the imports.

The Government should disclose as to how much wheat had been imported, from which company, and the country of shipment, Mr Somaiya said while talking to reporters here today.

Mr Somaiya, while noting that an order for withdrawal of the inferior wheat was given only for Mumbai region, sought to know why the wheat had not been withdrawn from the rural parts.

''Are they not human beings?'' he questioned.

The Central Government had ordered disposal of 1775 tonne out of the 25,000-tonne shipment of inferior-quality wheat. As much as 23,225 tonne of the wheat had already been sold in the rural and tribal parts of Thane, Nashik, Ratnagiri, Dhule, and Nandurbar districts, Mr Somaiya said, adding that the wheat was being delivered from godowns in Nashik, Ratnagiri and other parts.

The State Government has ordered the disposal of 1775 tonne of the wheat lying in 3000 ration shops in Mumbai. In all, 5,287 tonne of the imported wheat was allotted on March 2 for Mumbai and Thane regions, Mr Somaiya said.

Mr Somaiya said 265 samples from various ration shops were taken and tested in the State Governemnt's laboratory on April 3 and 229 of the samples were found unfit for human consumption. Yet, the State Government forcibly sold 13,52,000 kgs of the wheat in Mumbai, Mr Somaiya said.

Mr Somaiya said three shipments of imported wheat were found unfit for human consumption when tested at the ports. Yet, only one shipment containing about 25,000 tonne of wheat was sent back to Russia.

He said wheat was purchased from two multinationals -- Glencore and Toepfer, at Rs 16 per kg for 790,000 tonne in August 2007. These multinationals had purchased wheat from Indian farmers at Rs 8 per kg, he alleged.

UNI

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