CHANDIGARH: The Punjab government has cancelled all the labour and transportation tenders issued during the erstwhile Badal regime for the upcoming wheat procurement season, and has invited fresh tenders, while directing the Deputy Commissioners to personally supervise the procurement process beginning April 1.
After a high-level meeting chaired by Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh, it was decided that fresh tenders could be submitted till 5 pm on March 24 and would be opened the next day by the respective committees headed by the Deputy Commissioners of the concerned districts.
The entire tendering process would be completed by March 31, before the two-month procurement process kicks-off on April 1.
In case retendering is required for any reason, the entire process shall be finalised by the District Tender Allotment Committee (headed by Deputy Commissioners) by March 31.
Amarinder directed all the DCs to put in place a viable mechanism, and personally supervise the process, to ensure a smooth and hassle-free procurement of wheat in their respective districts.
He demanded timely and full procurement of every single grain of wheat from farmers, who had “suffered a harrowing time last year as a result of the ill-conceived agricultural policy of the erstwhile SAD-BJP regime.”
Reiterating his government's commitment to ensure prompt and seamless wheat procurement, Amarinder issued strict instructions to ensure the farmers do not face any hardship or inconvenience in the sale of their produce in the Mandis during the procurement period from April 1 to May 31, 2017.
He directed the officers to intervene personally to ensure an effective management of the procurement process, with proper facilities of drinking water and toilets for the labourers working in the grain markets.
The Mandi Board, Punjab, has been directed to make necessary arrangements such as cleaning, electricity, moisture meter, etc. in all the Mandis by March 24.
Mandis had been allotted to six procurement agencies—PUNGRAIN, Markfed, PUNSUP, Punjab State Warehousing Corporation, Punjab Agro Foodgrain Corporation and Food Corporation of India (FCI)—as per the share allocated to them by the state government.
The agencies would procure, an estimated, 122 Lakh Metric Ton (LMT) wheat during this procurement drive. The Government of India (GoI) has fixed Rs 1,625 per quintal as the Minimum Support Price for wheat for the current marketing season.