Centre relaxes norm for wheat procurement
Relaxing the wheat procurement norm, the Union government has allowed grains shriveled up to 18 per cent to be procured for the central pool from farmers in Punjab and Haryana.
Published: 15th May 2022 10:02 AM | Last Updated: 15th May 2022 10:04 AM | A+A A-
NEW DELHI: Relaxing the wheat procurement norm, the Union government has allowed grains shriveled up to 18 per cent to be procured for the central pool from farmers in Punjab and Haryana. As per the norm, only up to 6 per cent shrivelled grains are allowed.
In separate letters to the food and civil supplies secretaries of Punjab and Haryana, a Deputy Commissioner in Union Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution on Friday wrote that the Central government had acceded to the state’s request for relaxing the wheat procurement specifications so as to reduce the hardship of the farmers and to avoid distress sale.
The farmers in Punjab had been demanding the relaxation as they had suffered huge crop loss this season because of grain shrivelling, caused by early and unprecedented heatwave. The Centre’s relaxation, however, came with a caveat. The Union ministry clarified that any financial or operational implications due to this relaxation shall be sole responsibility of the respective state government.
“Any deterioration of wheat stock procured under relaxed scheme during storage shall be the sole responsibility of state governments,” the letter stated. The Union ministry also directed the wheat procured under the relaxed norm to be stacked and accounted for separately.
The Centre had recently sent teams to Punjab to assess the extent of the problem. The teams in their report confirmed that grains had shrivelled by 10 to 20%, which was responsible for the lower yield this year.