Chandigarh, April 26 (IANS) The Central government has accepted Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh’s request for relaxation in wheat specifications for procurement in the current season on account of loss in lustre caused by unseasonal rains, an official spokesperson said on Friday.
The Chief Minister had, earlier this week, written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi urging him to ease the norms for procurement in view of the losses incurred by wheat farmers due to the rainfall in March and April.
“Responding to the request, the Central government has decided to procure wheat in the state with relaxation on provisional basis in the uniform specifications of the crop during the Rabi marketing season 2019-20, the Food and Civil Supplies Department spokesperson said here.
The relaxation comes into immediate effect, and will remain till the final analysis report of the joint team is received.”
He said the Union Ministry of Consumer Affairs Food and Public Distribution has conveyed its decision to the State Food and Civil Supplies Department.
“It had been decided by the Central government to allow purchase of lustre lost wheat containing up to 10 per cent kernels without any value cut.
“The ministry has also allowed percentage relaxation in lustre lost wheat on district wise basis by allowing percentage of relaxation up to 50 per cent in the districts of Bathinda, Faridkot, Muktsar and Ferozepur, while relaxation percentage up to 75 per cent has been allowed in the Fazilka and Hoshiarpur districts,” the spokesperson added.
He said that the Centre has said that lustre lost wheat containing more than 10 per cent and up to 75 per cent affected kernels may be purchased with one-fourth of one value cut on a flat basis.
“The wheat so procured would be stacked and accounted for separately. Wheat stocks procured under relaxed specifications would be liquidated on overriding priority basis,” according to the spokesperson.
The agrarian state Punjab contributes nearly 50 per cent food grains (wheat and paddy) to the national kitty despite having just 1.54 per cent of the country’s geographical area.