Business Today
PTI feed

Punjab urges Centre to liquidate food stocks

twitter-logoPTI | November 1, 2019 | Updated 22:11 IST

Chandigarh, Nov 1 (PTI) The Punjab government on Friday urged the Centre to quickly liquidate food stocks through its Open Market Sale Scheme to address the problem of storage space crunch in the state. Chief Minister Amarinder Singh said he would soon meet Union Food Minister Ram Vilas Paswan to seek his intervention to get the storage issue resolved, and if need be, would also take up the issue with Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Chairing a high-level meeting to review the ongoing paddy procurement operations in the state, Amarinder Directed Principal Secretary (Food) K A P Sinha to ask Food Corporation of India to submit storage-gap analysis at the earliest to enable the state to chalk out a comprehensive action plan in case the Centre fails to lift the committed storage stocks, an official release stated. The chief minister said he would also raise with the central government the issue of enhancing the state's public distribution system allocation quota in order to dispose of additional quantity of stored foodgrain, which would in turn help the state in easing out the pressure on storage capacity. Currently, the state is short of space for 40 lakh tonnes of stock, considering the current pace of evacuation, which in the wake of a bumper Kharif crop has put further pressure on the existing storage space. The chief minister has also allowed to utilise the space for storage of foodgrain across 93 mandi sheds, as identified by the board. He asked managing directors of Punjab State Warehousing Corporation and Markfed to prepare a blueprint for creation of warehousing infrastructure. Expressing concern over the central government's move to shift from the minimum support price regime, Amarinder said any proposal to tweak this time-tested mechanism should be meticulously studied and planned before its implementation, so as to safeguard the interests of the farming community. Meanwhile, the principal secretary (food) disclosed that against the targeted procurement of 170 lakh tonnes, nearly 108.50 lakh tonnes of paddy had already been procured till date during the ongoing kharif marketing season. He hoped that the entire procurement operations would be completed by November 30, well before the cut-off date of December 15. PTI CHS HRS

  • Print

A    A   A