Punjab seeks PM intervention on procurement

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

CHANDIGARH - Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal Wednesday called for direct and immediate intervention of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for putting in place an effective institutional mechanism for smooth procurement of food grain by the central government.

“Badal brought up the issue when he called on the prime minister in New Delhi Wednesday,” a Punjab government spokesman said.

“He was accompanied by Punjab Food and Supplies Minister Adesh Partap Singh Kairon and senior officials,” he added.

The chief minister told Manmohan Singh about the serious problems being faced by the state in the procurement and storage of food grains.

Badal said Punjab procures 110 lakh tonnes of wheat and 140 lakh tonnes of paddy every year and there is an acute shortage of storage space for these essential commodities.

He pointed out that the state government was executing a pilot project for construction of silos for storage of wheat and the same has been sent to the union ministry of food for approval. He said that adequate storage space needs to be created for storage of rice and also pointed out the urgency of rapid movement of rice from Punjab to other states.

Badal told the prime minister that incidental charges amounting to Rs.4,000 crore are to be reimbursed to the state since 2003-04 and the case was pending with the central government.

Similarly, transport charges and losses due to storage damages were also pending for the last 10 years. He urged the prime minister to intervene and get these issues settled.

The spokesman added that the prime minister shared the concern of the chief minister on these issues.

The prime minister assured the chief minister that he would speak to the union food minister in this regard, the spokesman added.

Filed under: Economy

will not be displayed