MP aims to double wheat purchases this year to 40 lakh tonnes



New Delhi: The MP government plans to procure 40 lakh tonnes of wheat this year, double the amount it lifted last year, on account of Rs 100 per quintal bonus that it is offering to farmers over-and-above the Centre's price.

"This year we are targeting to procure 40 lakh tonnes of wheat, compared to 20 lakh tonnes last year, owing to bumper production," Madhya Pradesh State Civil Supplies Corporation Ltd Managing Director DKC Gupta told a news agency.

The state has procured 30 lakh tonnes of wheat so far, in the current marketing year, starting April, as compared to 13.22 lakh tonnes in the corresponding period of 2009-10.

Higher production of an estimated 80 lakh tonnes of wheat this year in MP, a bonus of Rs 100 over-and-above the Centre's minimum support rice (MSP) of Rs 1,100 a quintal and setting up of more procurement centres has helped the state increase its wheat purchases, Gupta said.

The state has set up 2,000 procurement centres this year compared to 1,300 last year.

The state has also imposed a purchase tax of four percent on private traders, who have an annual turnover in wheat of Rs 5 crore, which comes out to Rs 48 per quintal, Gupta said, adding that this is also facilitating more food grain coming to the government.

"MP has better quality of wheat than other states. We want to retain the state's wheat to fulfil the Public Distribution System's (PDS) requirements and there is a political will to do so, which is enhancing procurement," he said.

Meanwhile, wheat procurement around the country has reached 20.78 million tonnes so far in the current marketing year, down 1.8 percent in comparison to the same period last year.

The Food Corporation of India (FCI), the nodal agency for procurement and distribution of foodgrains, had purchased 21.16 million tonnes of wheat in the same period last year.

Procurement from the major contributors to the central pool, such as Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan, has declined.

As per FCI data, Punjab has contributed the maximum quantity -- over 10 million tonnes of wheat -- to the central pool so far this marketing year, down three per cent from 10.40 million tonnes during the corresponding period last year.

FCI has procured 62.80 lakh tonnes of wheat from Haryana so far this year, seven per cent lower than the 67.60 lakh tonnes it lifted last year.

Wheat procurement from Uttar Pradesh so far this year has declined by 40 percent to 9.59 lakh tonnes from 15.88 lakh tonnes in the corresponding period last year.

PTI