Tribune News Service
New Delhi, May 8
Procurement of wheat in the ongoing Rabi season so far this year has been less by 18.35 per cent due to delay in procurement process amid the COVID-19 pandemic. However, according to Minister of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution Ram Vilas Paswan there is no shortage of food grains and procurement is also on track in the country.
Sufficient food grains supply is available to meet the increased demands, said Paswan.
As on date, cumulative procurement of wheat in Rabi Marketing Season (RMS) 2020-21 is 226.85 LMT, whereas procurement during the corresponding RMS 2019-20 was 277.83 LMT. Therefore, procurement of wheat in the current season is less by 18.35 per cent than the corresponding period in the previous season, Paswan informed.
However, cumulative procurement of paddy as on May 6 in the Kharif Marketing Season (KMS) 2019-20 is 439.02 LMT, whereas procurement during the corresponding KMS 2018-19 was 398.13 LMT, which is 10.27 per cent more, the minister added.
Paswan said in view of the prevailing unprecedented situation, it had been decided that procurement of wheat during the ensuing Rabi Marketing Season 2020-21 and procurement of paddy/rice of Rabi crop in the Kharif Marketing Season 2019-20 might be carried out on provisional basis, while keeping the target/estimate of procurement the same as during previous RMS - 2019-20 and KMS 2018-19 (Rabi crop) in case of wheat and paddy/rice, respectively.
The procurement of wheat and paddy/rice during RMS normally commences on April 1, but due to COVID-19 most of the states could not commence operations before April 15.
States have been advised to ensure the procurement operations. The number of procurement centres could also be increased to the extent possible so as to disperse the procurement operations for ensuring social distancing and maintaining hygiene at these centres, said Paswan.
The minister said a massive exercise was underway to supply free food grains and pulses to about 80 crore people across the country under the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana.
The government is making efforts to ensure that food grains are readily available for distribution in all the states for meeting their requirements under the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana (PMGKAY), he added.
As many as 21 states/UTs have completed more than 90 per cent distribution for the month of April under the PMGKAY, covering nearly 41.35 crore beneficiaries.
Some sates/UTs, like Andaman Nicobar, Dadra & Nagar Haveli, Daman & Diu, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, Puducherry and Himachal Pradesh, are distributing food grains for two months in one go, Paswan added.
Most Read In 24 Hours
Don't MissView All
Resolution gets the backing of 13 Council members, while the...
Meenakshi Lekhi denies approving Parliament question on Hamas, calls for inquiry; MEA flags 'procedural error'
The written answer to unstarred question number 980, uploade...
Punjab Police tell Punjab and Haryana High Court that the in...
BSP suspends Danish Ali for 'anti-party' activities; MP refutes charge, says only raised voice against BJP Govt's policies
Move comes day after Ali walked out of Lok Sabha proceedings...
The tax department has deployed about 40 large and small mac...