Wheat production to cross 145 lakh tonnes in Punjab

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Chandigarh, Apr 17 (UNI) Despite inclement weather prevailing in Punjab, the production of wheat was likely to touch 145.96 lakh MTs during the year 2008-09 as compared to last years production of 145 lakh MTs.

As on date market arrival of wheat in the state was around 12.43 lakh MTs of the estimated production.

Likely arrival of the foodgrain would be approximately 105 lakh MTs out of which the procurement by State Government agencies was likely to be 93.45 lakh MTs and 11.55 lakh MTs by FCI.

During last year 72.07 lakh MTs of wheat was procured by Government agencies and 7.04 lakh MTs by traders. Approximately 1600 purchase centers had been set up for the procurement this season. This information was given at a high level meeting called by Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal to discuss the wheat procurement in the state here today. The meeting was significant as Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar had recently discussed the wheat procurement measures with Mr Badal as the border state's contribution in the central pool is expected to be 80 lakh MTs.

At the meeting Mr Badal directed the Deputy Commissioners to personally oversee the wheat procurement operations in the state.

He directed the DC's to supervise the procurement alongwith with the officials of the Food and Civil Supplies department and the heads of the procurement agencies.

The DC's have been asked to ensure that the agencies procure the wheat as per their allotted quota so that every grain of the farmer is lifted.

Mr Badal asked the Principal Secretary, Food and Civil Supplies to depute Administrative Secretaries for the overall supervising of procurement in the districts allotted to them. He also directed the Senior Regional Manager, FCI (Punjab region) to issue guidelines to the field officers of the FCI for timely procurement of wheat keeping in view of the inclement weather.

He asked the FCI to reschedule its proposal to buy rice as it was hampering the procurement of wheat.

He stated clearly that no laxity on the part of the Food and Supplies department would be tolerated.

The Chief Minister directed his Principal Secretary D S Guru to issue guidelines to all the Deputy Commissioners to regularly hold meetings of the officials concerned of the procurement agencies of their respective districts, to monitor the progress on day-to-day basis.

The meeting was attended by Food and Civil Supplies Minister Adesh Partap Singh Kairon, Chairman Mandi Board Ajmer Singh Lakhowal, Principal Secretary Food &and Civil Supplies R P S Pawar, Financial Commissioner Development R S Sandhu, Director Food and Civil Supplies S P Singh and Additional Principal Secretary to Chief Minister Gagandeep Singh Brar, besides all the Commissioners and Deputy commissioners of the state.

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