The state’s wheat purchase exercise is mid-way, but the state government officers have already started mulling over amending the current procurement policy.
The wheat purchase started on April 1 and the government has purchased merely 14.84 lakh metric tonnes. The state government agencies have to purchase 39 lakh metric tonne for 2010-11.
The Food Corporation of India (FCI) is to purchase 1 lakh metric tonne. Each month the state government requires 3 lakh metric tonne wheat for the public distribution system (PDS).
The annual requirement is 36 lakh metric tonne. “If there was fall in the procurement it would naturally affect the PDS,” an officer said.
Earlier, under the decentralised procurement it was the responsibility of the state government to purchase the wheat, and distribute stock to the public distribution outlets.
This year the state government agencies had to purchase the wheat and hand it over to FCI for storage. The FCI in turn will distribute the stock to the public distribution outlets.
The state government had fixed the minimum support price for procurement at Rs 11,00 per quintal. Last year wheat was purchased at the rate of Rs 10,80 per quintal.
As the purchase started there was a stand-off between the state and FCI over the shriveling of the wheat. The FCI refused to store the wheat that was shriveled over seven percent.
The state government urged the Centre to increase the shriveling ratio to 15 per cent, but there was no communication from the central government.