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Slow lifting of wheat creates glut in grain markets across Patiala

Around 7.44 lakh metric tonne wheat yield has arrived across the purchasing centres here, of which several purchasing agencies have bought around 7.23 lakh metric tonne yield.

punjab Updated: Apr 26, 2018 10:14 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Patiala
Slow lifting of wheat,glut in market,Punjab
Wheat lying in the open at a grain market in Mehmadpur village of Patiala on Friday. (Bharat Bhushan/HT)

The ongoing wheat procurement season is marred with slow lifting as glut-like situation can be witnessed in the grain markets across Punjab’s Patiala district.

Around 7.44 lakh metric tonne wheat yield has arrived across the purchasing centres here, of which several purchasing agencies have bought around 7.23 lakh metric tonne yield.

However, when it comes to lifting, the administration has managed to lift only 2.68 lakh metric tonne of the purchased yield, resulting in heaps of wheat at grain markets in Nabha, Patiala, Rajpura and Samana.

The tardy lifting can be gauged from the fact that only 51,000 metric tonne were lifting against arrival of over 1 lakh metric tonne. As per procurement norms, it is mandatory for the procuring agencies to lift the crop within 72 hours of purchase to avoid glut-like conditions at purchasing centres.

A senior official, on the condition of anonymity, said the slow lifting may result in delayed purchase of fresh stock in the coming days as more than 6 lakh metric tonne yield was expected to arrive.

  • Total arrival: 7.44 lakh MT
  • Total procurement: 7.23 lakh MT
  • Total lifting: 2.68 lakh MT

“Due to slow lifting of the yield, procurement process has been affected and instructions issued to district managers of purchasing agencies to speed up the lifting process,” the official added.

District food civil supplies (DFSC) officer Narinder Singh said the sudden arrival of wheat yield is the main reason behind the slow lifting process. “Due to weather forecast and rain in last two days, arrival of wheat yield shot up. In past three days, the total arrival was estimated around 3.50 lakh metric tonne,” the DFSC said.

Meanwhile, deputy commissioner Kumar Amit directed officials concerned to take appropriate steps for speedy procurement of wheat yield in grain markets of the district so that famers do not face any difficulty.

“The officials have been asked to ensure lifting is stipulated so as to make space for fresh arrival of wheat yield in the grain markets,” he said.

He added that the sub-divisional magistrate-level officers have been instructed to visit purchasing centres on a regular basis and to stay in touch with farmers and procurement staff in order to ensure smooth handling of their problems.

At least 2.34 lakh hectare of area was under wheat cultivation and agriculture department is expecting wheat production of 9.2 lakh metric tonne against 8.36 lakh hectare last year.

‘Truck operators reluctant to work due to low rates’

While 85,837 metric tonne wheat yield has arrived so far in the Nabha grain market, only 23,985 metric have been were lifted so far. Heaps of wheat could be seen lying open in the grain markets of the district.

On Friday, 4,638 metric tonne was lifted from all 15 centres and 1,464 metric tonne was lifted from the New Grain market of Nabha where over 30,700 metric tonne still wait to be lifted.

“If the grain is lying in the open and it rains, the quality diminishes and it is more prone to insect attack. Ultimately, the consumer suffers,” said Onkar Singh of Bhartiya Kisan Union (Rajewal).

Commission agents, meanwhile, said it becomes their responsibility after crop is purchased by agencies. “If lifting remains this slow and weather continues to be like what it has been, we will incur losses,” said Nitish Goyal, a commission agent.

First Published: Apr 21, 2018 10:48 IST