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Government estimates 440 lakh MTs wheat procurement

Posted on Feb 19, 04:47PM | IBNS

New Delhi, Feb 19 : The Government has estimated 440.06 Lakh MTs wheat procurement for Rabi Marketing Season (RMS) 2013-14.

These estimates were finalised in a meeting of the State Food Secretaries chaired by Union Secretary of Food & Public Distribution Sudhir Kumar here.

The meeting called to discuss the arrangements for procurement of wheat for forthcoming Rabi Market Season reviewed storage plans, availability of credit to state agencies involve in procurement, setting of purchase centre and availability of adequate packaging material in advance.

Wheat procurement during RMS 2012-13 was 381.48 Lakh MTs, all time high record procurement. In view of estimated all time high record procurement during 2013-14, Union Food Secretary requested Food Corporation of India (FCI) and State procurement agencies to take advance action to open adequate purchase centers with sufficient manpower.

"FCI was directed to computerise information about Number and locations of centres of agencies. All states were asked to setup a control room to update daily information on the progress of procurement on a Web Portal. Deployment of vigilance of monitoring staff should also be taken up to keep a close watch on the whole operations," said a government release on Tuesday.

The Secretary directed FCI to depute its senior officers in the state to ensure proper arrangements for procurement in collaborations with the state food secretaries. He asked the states adequate storage space, both covered and CAP, may be made available to meet the requirement of FCI and State Agencies.

"Suitability of CAP storage may be assessed will in time by FCI and State Agencies so that stocks stored in CAP does not deteriorate during storage," the release said.

In order to ensure immediate payments to farmers on delivery of wheat, states were urged to make available adequate funds for state agencies. Payment to farmers to be made through Account Payee Cheque or by Bank transfer.

In view of problem faced by some states regarding availability of packaging material during last RMS, State Food Secretaries and FCI were requested to ensure adequate availability in advance.

They were informed that DGS&D has extended the erate contract for HDPE/PP bags upto 31st March, 2013 and all States should ensure that purchase of required quantity of HDPE/PP bags is done by them under the relaxation granted by the Deptt. of Food and Public Distribution in consultation with the Ministry of Textiles.

Sudhir Kumar also directed to that extensive use of print, radio and electronic media should be made publicise procurement operations at Maximum Support Price (MSP) basis Rs. 1350 per quintal for wheat for RMS 13-14, particularly in non-traditional states where there is good possibility of successful procurement operations.

The meeting was attended by the Food Secretaries from Bihar, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Punjab, Rajasthan, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal.