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Haryana resents slow movement of food grain

Posted on Oct 31, 02:53PM | IANS

With stocks from previous years still piled up across the state, the Haryana government has drawn the attention of the central government to the slow outward movement of food grain and paucity of warehousing facilities for fresh stocks.

With nearly 35 lakh tonnes of paddy having been procured this season and Haryana expecting another bumper stock of 80 lakh tonnes of wheat next year, the state government's food and supplies department has set the alarm bells ringing, a spokesman of the department said Wednesday.

Haryana's Food and Supplies Minister Mahender Pratap Singh said that the existing and the procured stocks will be highest ever in Haryana.

The procurement agencies do not have even makeshift arrangements for the storage of these stocks, he said.

Singh has urged the centre to direct the Food Corporation of India (FCI) to ensure movement of at least 10 lakh tonnes of wheat and three lakh tonnes of rice per month from Haryana.

Singh said that agencies in Haryana were holding a stock of 101.26 lakh tonnes of wheat, 11.33 lakh tonnes of rice and other grain (as on Oct 15), against the covered storage capacity of 57.87 lakh tonnes.

He said that 65 percent of wheat is stored in the open and the rest 35 percent in godowns.

"Average monthly outward movement is 4.42 lakh tonnes of wheat and 1.03 lakh tonnes of rice in the current financial year.

"The average movement per month of wheat is extremely low. At this pace, the agencies will start Rabi 2013 procurement with opening food grain balance of more than 103.47 lakh tonnes," Singh pointed out.

Emphasising the immediate need to create additional covered storage space, Singh said that the estimated storage gap in Haryana is 60 lakh tonnes.