Chandigarh, May 15:
The Minister for Food, Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs, Lal Chand Kataruchak today ordered continuation of wheat procurement operations in 232 Mandis in the State till 31st May. This announcement was made after carefully examining the ramifications of the recent decision of the Union Ministry of Commerce to restrict exports of wheat.
Sharing these details with mediapersons, the Food Minister said that the restrictions on wheat export is likely to result in a dip in prices of wheat in the domestic market. As a result some farmers who had stored the wheat produce, in anticipation of fetching higher prices later, might have a rethink now and opt to sell the wheat. Therefore, it was important that the facility of government purchase at MSP continues to be available to them in order to avoid distress sale, he said.
Commenting on the working of the Mandis, Kataruchak said that the State Government had operationalised 2292 Mandis in the State during the present Rabi season.. But following a drastic dip in the arrivals of wheat in certain parts of the state, 2060 Mandis have so far been closed in a carefully planned phased manner in the recent days. Thus at present 232 Mandis continue to be operational, covering all the Districts in the State, he said.
The Minister added that, although the notified date of closure of procurement was 31st May, but seeing the negligible pace of wheat arrivals in the recent days, a request had been made to the Ministry of Food and Public Distribution, Government of India on 12th May to allow premature closure of Mandis from 17th May. The State Government has now formally withdrawn this request, he said, and keeping in mind the interests of the farmers, these 232 Mandis shall continue to be operational in all the Districts till 31st May.