New Delhi: Buoyed by the current trend of brisk lifting of wheat arriving at mandis in Punjab and Haryana by the Food Corporation of India, government said on 12 April the procurement target of 151 lakh tonnes is likely to be met in the ongoing Rabi marketing season 2007-08.
“We are hopeful, based on the feedback of the Agriculture Ministry, that our procurement target may be achieved going by the current trend,” Information and Broadcasting Minister P R Dasmunsi told reporters.
He said about 85% of the wheat arriving at mandis in these two major wheat growing states is being procured by the nodal agency Food Corporation of India.
“The cabinet today informally discussed about the wheat procurement situation in the country,” he added.
Last year, the government had failed to procure adequate quantity of wheat for PDS and other requirements due to aggressive buying by private companies.
However, availability of wheat at low prices in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Gujarat this year has kept away private firms from buying in Punjab.
It is much cheaper to source wheat from these states as against Punjab, private traders said, adding that an expected rise of 3-3.5 lakh tonnes in wheat output in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Gujarat is also contributing to this move.
Besides, Punjab imposes 11.5% tax on buying wheat while Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Gujarat and Uttar Pradesh charge a 4.0-7.6% tax.
High transportation cost is another factor that dissuades private companies to lift wheat from Punjab.