Appeal to goi to accede to request : Lal Chand Kataruchak
Chandigarh: Punjab government has sought relaxation in the norms for shrivelled grains in view of the change in appearance of the grain as a result of early onset of the heat wave. Disclosing this today Lal Chand Kataruchak, Food, Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs Minister said that the sudden unexpected heat wave, which has descended upon the state quite early from the last week of March itself and continued over the last 2 weeks, has caused the wheat grain to shrivel, which is a natural phenomenon and has nothing to do with the way the farmer has cultivated his crop. As such it is unfair to refuse to purchase any heap brought in by the farmer, which has a higher percentage of shrivelled grains than what is prescribed, he said.
Divulging further he said that yesterday the Secretary, Food Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs, Government of Punjab had written a Demi official letter to the Secretary, Food and Public Distribution, Government of India requesting him to allow relaxation in specifications of shrivelled grains for the wheat crop coming into the Mandis. FCI Regional Office has also been collecting samples and compiling the reports in this regard from its district offices, he said.
It may be noted that Government of India has allowed only 6% of shrivelled grain in the wheat being purchased, whereas the percentage of shrivelled grain is observed to be much higher in many parts of the State.
The Minister appealed to the farmers to be patient as the Punjab Government was constantly in touch with Government of India to resolve this issue at the earliest. He also directed the Managing Directors of the Procurement Agencies to protect the interests of the staff working in the field under these testing conditions.
He also reaffirmed the commitment of the State Government to buy every grain of wheat coming into the Mandis.