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5 m tonnes of wheat to be imported

New Delhi, June 7
Days after the centre scrapped a tender to import one million tonnes of wheat, agriculture minister Sharad Pawar today said India would buy five million tonnes of the grain from overseas this year to augment buffer stock for meeting any exigencies.

This would be the second year in a row that India, the world's second-biggest wheat producer, would import the grain.

The government had imported 5.5 million tonnes last year to augment its depleted buffer stock owing to low procurement.

“We will now start the process of importing. Import will start from August to December,” Pawar said.

Pawar said with carry over stocks and this year's procurement, there was no problem in domestic availability of wheat for Public Distribution System. Procurement in the current marketing season has touched 10.75 million tonnes so far against last year's 9.2 million tonnes, he added. — PTI

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