Wheat procurement by Punjab government's agencies at 1,759 procurement centres across the state has crossed the 100-lakh-tonne mark. Procurement of 102.19 lakh tonnes was reported in the state till Thursday.
A total of about 115 lakh tonnes of wheat is expected to arrive at procurement centres during the current rabi marketing season.
An official spokesman said most of the foodgrains had been lifted by government agencies, while only 1,583 tonnes had been purchased by private traders so far. The Food Corporation of India (FCI) has purchased 15.23 lakh tonnes (14.91% of the total procurement).
A government spokesman said Punsup had procured 23.49 lakh tonnes (22.99%); Markfed, 22.83 lakh tonnes (22.34%); Pungrain, 17.07 lakh tonnes (16.71%); Punjab Agro Industries Corporation, 11.82 lakh tonnes (11.57%) and Punjab State Warehousing Corporation, 11.68 lakh tonnes (11.43%).
Food and civil supplies secretary DS Grewal said there was no crisis regarding gunny bags as the Centre had allowed state procurement agencies to re-use gunny bags used for storing paddy in the previous kharif marketing season. He said the Centre had allowed gunny bags for the procurement of 109 lakh tonnes of wheat, but the supply of bags was erratic as the stock was diverted to Madhya Pradesh.
Punjab food and civil supplies minister Adesh Partap Singh Kairon had taken up the matter with the union agriculture minister, who permitted the re-use of gunny bags. "But the permission came with a clause that wheat stored in gunny bags already in use would be supplied in Punjab and not sent outside the state," Grewal added.