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28 September 2011

Madhya Pradesh stands at third position in wheat procurement

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By Pervez Bari

Bhopal: Madhya Pradesh now stands at third position in the country in wheat procurement. Last year, a record procurement of 49.64 lakh metric tonnes of wheat was made. In view of this, a target to procure 60 lakh metric tonnes of wheat has been fixed for the next year. All necessary arrangements for this are being made right from now.

According to State Civil Supplies Corporation, which is the main agency looking after wheat procurement in Madhya Pradesh, has intensified its activities in this connection. Corporation's Chairman Mr. Ramesh Sharma “Guttu Bhaiyya” Madhya Pradesh now stands third in wheat procurement after Punjab and Haryana. This year, payment to the tune of Rs. 6,300 crore was made to farmers who sold wheat on support price. The State Government alone paid a sum of Rs. 500 crore to farmers as per Rs. 100 per quintal bonus on wheat procurement. Besides, for the first time, payment of about Rs. 250 crore was also made as per Rs. 50 per quintal bonus announced by the Central Government. Incentive worth one month's salary was given to the employees connected with wheat procurement.

In comparison to last five years, maximum of four lakh 30 thousand metric tonnes of paddy was also procured on support price in the state.

Meanwhile, in view of even more large-scale wheat procurement next year, advance preparations have been started regarding availability of gunny bags, bank credit limit, transport etc. Contemplation has started for inviting tenders through area-wise division with the collectors' advice for making proper transport arrangements in procurement-dominant districts. Trucks carrying food grains under public distribution system will be monitored through GPS system.

Terms and conditions of tenders for supply of gunny bags are being made tougher. The concerning company will have to put its mark on gunny bags. This will help check black-marketing and ensure supply of high quality food grain to people after its procurement.

[Pervez Bari is a Journalist based at Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh. He can be contacted at pervezbari@eth.net]

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