Chandigarh, May 2: The Punjab today took a giant step to bring Country out of food crises as its contribution to central pool of Wheat Stock exceeded far more than the target of 80 Lac tonnes fixed by the Union Government. The granary of the Country with less than 1.3 % geographical area has contributed 82.94 Lac tonnes to the Central Pool on 1st May as against 55.06 Lac tonnes contributed on this date last year.A spokesman of Punjab Government today said that with the pace of procurement being witnessed in the Mandis of Punjab, the State hopes to contribute 90 lac plus tonnes to the Central pool this Rabi Season.
The spokesman said that six government agencies and private millers have procured more than 86.59 lac tonnes of wheat in Punjab out of which 82.94 lac tonne (95.80%) has been procured for the central pool and 1,52,793 tonnes (1.8%) has been procured for the State pool.
According to an official spokesman Government agencies and private millers procured more than 86.59lac tonnes of wheat till Thursday evening. Out of total procurement of 86,59,700 tonnes of wheat in all the procurement centers of Punjab, Government agencies procured 84, 46,830 tonnes of wheat (97.5%) till date whereas millers have lifted 2,12,870 tonnes (2.5%) of wheat. Till May 1, PUNGRAIN had procured 15, 30,140 tonnes (18.4%) whereas MARKFED procured 19, 64,270 tonnes (23.7%). PUNSUP procured 18, 86, 783 tonnes (22.7%), PSWC procured 10, 62,814 tonnes (12.8%) whereas PAIC was able to procure9, 58,648 tonnes (11.5 %) of wheat for the central pool. The Central Government agency FCI had been able to procure 8, 93,482 tonnes (10.8%) for the central pool.
The spokesman said that in addition MARKFED procured 55294 tonnes (36.2%), PUNSUP procured 68,249 tonnes (44.7%) and PAIC procured 27925 tonnes(0.3%) for the State pool.He added that Ferozepur District with 10,09,435 tonnes of procurement was leading in procurement operations whereas Sangrur District with 9,09,796 tonnes of procurement was at second slot and Ludhiana district with 7,82,971 tonnes of procurement ranked at third position.
The Punjab Government has made a payment of more than Rs. 7954 crores to the farmers of the State for wheat procured upto April 30, 2008 ensuring payment to the farmers within 48 hours of lifting of their wheat.
The spokesman said that Punjab Government has already set aside Rs. 11176 crores for total procurement season to ensure hassle free payment to the farmers. He said that Rs. 1462.50 crore has been allocated to PUNGRAIN where as MARKFED has been allocated Rs. 1580.60 crores for wheat procurement. Similarly PUNSUP has been allocated Rs. 1977.70 crores and an amount of Rs.840.66 crores has been placed at the disposal of PSWC. Similarly PAFC and FCI have been allocated Rs. 900.26 crores and Rs. 843.22 crore respectively.The State Government has set up over 1615 procurement centres and activated its total machinery to ensure smooth procurement of wheat, the spokesman added.