Home Cities Glut-like situation in mandis as Punjab awaits relaxation in procurement norms

Glut-like situation in mandis as Punjab awaits relaxation in procurement norms

by thesquadron.in
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There is a glut-like situation in the mandis and procurement centres of Punjab as at least 38 lakh tonne wheat is waiting to be lifted and taken to the storage points.

The situation, according to the state food and civil supplies department, has arisen due to delay in the Centre’s approval to grant relaxation in the procurement norms as the crop in the current rabi season has percentage of shriveled grain more than the permissible limit of six.

The grain suffered quality loss due sudden rise in temperature in mid-March, which affected the yield as well.

As per a report from the state department, most of the mandis in Punjab, except those in Moga, Tarn Taran and Amritsar, are full of wheat either filled in bags or kept in open as the crop in these three districts faced negligible quality loss.

There are at least 2,321 mandis and centres in the state, where procurement operations are going on. “The Food Corporation of India (FCI) is not accepting most of the grain which has suffered quality loss (shriveled) more than the permissible limits because the Union ministry of food and public distribution has not allowed relaxations despite our repeated requests at different levels,” said an official of the Punjab food department.

So far, 93 lakh tonne wheat has arrived in the state mandis of which 90.8 lakh tonne has been procured by four state agencies – Pungrain, Punsup, Markfed and state’s warehousing corporation – and the Centre’s agency that drives the nationwide public distribution system – Food Corporation of India.

Out of the total purchase, 5.8 lakh tonne wheat has been bought by traders, which is said to be unprecedented and highest of the past available records. A payment of 13,626.24 crore has been made to the farmers on purchase of their produce at a minimum support price of 2,015 per quintal.

Two weeks ago, a team of scientists had visited Punjab when its food department raised alarm over the fall in quality. The experts from Indian Grain Storage Management and Research Institute, Hyderabad, had submitted a report to the Centre about the loss of quality and reportedly, the matter is awaiting clearance by the Union food and public distribution minister Piyush Goyal.

Officials in the state department said due to delay in lifting, the procurement process has come to a standstill and they have been waiting to reconcile the stocks.

The procurement is nearing end as the daily arrivals on Tuesday tapered down to 2.25 lakh tonne. The food department is hoping to see end of the season by the first week of May.

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