Punjab crosses 100 lakh tonne wheat procurement mark

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Chandigarh, May 9 (UNI) Punjab has crossed the 100 lakh tonne wheat procurement mark despite delayed harvesting due to inclement weather conditions.

Minister of Food and Civil Supplies Adesh Partap Singh Kairon said here today that the state government had very smoothly and successfully almost completed the wheat procurement despite the delayed harvest.

Mr Kairon said that the central government had fixed a target of 80 lakh tonnes for central pool for Punjab but the state has so far already contributed 93.47 lakh tonnes.

He said that except for the year 2001-02 when total procurement was 105 lakh tonnes, this is the highest ever procurement in the state. He hoped that since arrival of wheat was still continuing, the record of 2001-02 may be broken.

He said that untimely rains had delayed the harvesting season which resulted in heavy rush in the mandis in the second half of April.

Mr Kairon said that farmers didn't face any problem despite the fact that there was shortage of labour for handling and for lifting of stocks in the procurement centers. He said that no complaints regarding payment to farmers for their produce and any sort of corruption by field staff were received.

He complimented the food and supplies department and other procurement agencies involved in the puchase of wheat.

Mr Kairon informed that besides the procurement for central pool, about 2.70 lakh tonnes had been purchased for the state pool.

Besides the private traders had also made purchases from the mandis, he added.

The minister further said that the highest wheat procurement in the country, was an estimated 11.41 lakh tonnes from Ferozepur district followed by Sangrur district with 9.38 lakh tonnes.

UNI HS MMS1815

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