Punjab set to have 146 lakh MT of wheat this season
Chandigarh, Mar 30 (UNI) The Punjab government today announced that 146.25 lakh metric tonnes of wheat will be produced in the state this Rabi season for which the purchasing agencies would enter the market on April one.
With a view to making the wheat procurement process quick, smooth and trouble-free, Punjab Food and Supplies minister Avtar Henry said all arrangements in this connection had been made in advance and the senior officials and the ground staff concerned have been issued instrucions to facilitate the farmers during the procurement.
The Minister said that as per the information provided by the Agriculture Department, 146.25 lakh MT wheat would be produced in the state, out of which 94 lakh MT would be marketable surplus.
Last year, the agencies had procured 90.10 lakh MT of wheat. The procurement agencies had made arrangement for purchase of 100 lakh MT. For this purpose, 1589 purchase centers had been allocated among the procuring agencies including FCI whenever necessary new purchase centres could be opened after consultations with district administration.
Mr Henry said that arrangements had been made for cash credit of Rs 6432 crore from Reserve Bank of India for the procurement of the food grains. Last year, the cash credit of Rs 5350.47 crore was availed.
The Centre has fixed the minimum support price (MSP) of wheat at Rs 650 per quintal, against last year's Rs 640. The share of procurement of wheat has been fixed amongst the six procuring agencies Pungrain (20 per cent), Markfed 20 (per cent), Punsup 20 (per cent), PSWC 12 (per cent) and PAFC (eight per cent). The state agencies would procure 80 per cent and the remaining 20 per cent would be procured by the Food Corporation of India (FCI).
The Minister categorically said that the state government would not tolerate any harassment of farmers either at the hands of the officials or the commission agents. He asserted that the farmers would get their due payments within the stipulated time and the state government would set up a Control Room at Chandigarh as well as at District Headquarters for close monitoring of the procurement.
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