CAPT. AMARINDER WRITES TO PM SEEKING RELAXATION IN WHEAT SPECIFICATIONS FOR PROCUREMENT
• ALSO URGES EXPERT COMMITTEE TO ASSESS QUALITY DAMAGE IN CROP DUE TO UNSEASONAL RAINS
Chandigarh, April 22: Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh has written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi seeking relaxation in the specifications for wheat for procurement in the current season, in view of the crop losses suffered by farmers due to unseasonal rains.
The Chief Minister has also asked the prime minister to direct the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution to depute a team of experts to visit Punjab to assess the loss in quality of wheat due to the rains so that suitable revised specifications can be laid down.
He has urged the prime minister to order appropriate relaxation in specifications without any value cut, which would compound the problems of the farmers who had already suffered significant crop losses due to the rains and winds that lashed the state from 16th April to 18th April, 2019.
Captain Amarinder Singh pointed out that such rains at the time of maturation of wheat crop had caused damage to the standing crop and also affected the quality of the wheat grains because of water logging, leading to loss of luster/blackened grains.
He further mentioned that the frequent rains and slightly lower temperatures in the state in the month of March had already delayed the process of harvesting, because of which the arrival of wheat in Mandis was delayed and commenced only from 11th April. Approximately 3 lakh MT of arrival of wheat has been reported in the Mandis so far, which is significantly lower than arrivals in the past.
Although the arrival of wheat is likely to increase in the coming days, it has been reported by the field officers that the quality of wheat arriving in the Mandis of the State does not fall into FAQ (Fair Average Quality) specifications. Therefore, prescribed uniform specifications of wheat with regard to damaged, slightly damaged, shriveled & broken grains, luster and moisture content would require relaxation by the Government of India, the Chief Minister said.
The Chief Minister urged Modi to immediately resolve the issue to ensure hassle-free procurement of wheat in the larger interest of the farming community.