: Emphasising that farming issues need to be resolved on high priority, Chief minister Bhagwant Mann on Sunday expressed concern over the Centre’s delay in taking a decision on relaxing the specifications for shrivelled wheat grains in Punjab that is impacting procurement operations and adding to the farmers’ woes in the state.
Mann said that he had personally spoken to Union home minister Amit Shah and Union minister for food and public distribution Piyush Goyal on Thursday and requested them to allow the relaxations based on the field data collected by the teams deputed by the Centre. The CM had also written to Goyal in this regard.
“I am concerned that despite the passage of one week since the central teams, deputed by the ministry of food and public distribution, completed their task and submitted their report to the ministry highlighting the extent of shrivelled grain, no decision has been taken by the Union government,” Mann said.
The chief minister emphasised that farming issues are required to be resolved on high priority and the delay is impacting the procurement operations.
Due to sudden increase in temperatures in mid-March, the crop matured early leading to a fall in quality and yield. As against the norms of 6% shrivelled grain, it touched 12%.
Giving a commitment that his government will purchase every grain from the farmers, Mann said that it was unfair to blame the farmers and penalise them for quality loss. So far, the total arrivals in mandis have touched 89 lakh tonnes, out of which 85.4 lakh tonnes have been purchased.
Glut in mandis
Referring to the glut in some mandis, the chief minister said that it is primarily on account of FCI’s inability to accept shriveled wheat from the mandis on account of non-finalisation of relaxation in norms, thereby choking the grain markets and causing inconvenience to the farmers and arhtiyas.
More than 50% of purchase of wheat is awaiting lifting. The CM said that he is hopeful of an early positive outcome from the Union government and thereafter lifting will improve considerably.