GOI Relaxes Norms For Shrivelled Wheat Grains For Punjab & Haryana

Due to a sudden rise in temperature in March when wheat crop was at maturing stage, the grain quality suffered so much so that the percentage of shrivelled grain in the freshly harvested crop saw a manifold increase. Now giving a big relief to the farmers, the Central Ministry of Food & Public Distribution has allowed Punjab & Haryana to relax procurement norms for shrivelled and broken wheat grains, allowing it up to 18% against the existing 6%, without any value cut.

Punjab CM Bhagwant Mann thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi for accepting the state’s request and allowing a generous relaxation in procurement of shrivelled grains. He tweeted:

“I, on behalf of farmers of Punjab, thank Hon’ble Prime Minister @NarendraModi ji, for accepting our request & allowing a generous relaxation in procurement of shrivelled grains.I assure you that Punjab shall continue to work in earnest to contribute to food security of the nation.”

In the letter sent to Punjab Government, the Ministry has said, “the matter has been examined and in order to reduce the hardship of farmers and to avoid distress sale of wheat, the competent Authority has decided to accord to the request of the State. Accordingly, it has been decided to procure wheat in the state of Punjab and Haryana, including UT Chandigarh, with the following relaxation in the uniform specifications of wheat for central pool procurement during the Marketing Season 2022-23, w.e.f. commencement of RMS 2022-23. The limit of shrivelled and broken grains of wheat in all the districts of Punjab and Haryana including UT Chandigarh may be relaxed up to 18%, against the existing limit of 6% under uniform specifications without any value cut. Wheat so procured shall be stacked and accounted for separately. Any deterioration of wheat stock procured under Relaxed Scheme during storage shall be the sole responsibility of the State Government of Punjab and Haryana, including UT Chandigarh.” 

Meanwhile,  state’s secretary food and civil supplies – Gurkirat Kirpal Singh said, “it is for the first time that relaxation has been allowed to this extent and without a value cut. It’s a win-win situation for farmers as well as the state government.” (Source – HT)

The four procurement agencies of the state- Pungrain, Punsup, warehousing corporation and Markfed, procure the produce from farmers at mandis and procurement centres managed by the Mandi board and hand it over to the Food Corporation of India (FCI) for distribution across the country under public distribution system and other schemes. The relaxations were allowed when a major portion of wheat of the current rabi season has been procured and at least 19 lakh tonnes has been handed over to the FCI for taking the grain further to consumer states. 

Punjab had been demanding that the specifications for accepting these grains be relaxed. Teams from the Union Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution had visited the state twice since the procurement began and collected samples, before announcing these relaxations.

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