RE (APP) - Senior Advisor to Chief Minister Sardar Zulfiqar Ali Khan Khosa has said the Punjab government would procure four million metric tons wheat during next season.
He was presiding over a meeting of the committee constituted for the procurement and storage of wheat at 90-Sharah-e-Quaid-e-Azam here Friday. He said that the drawbacks in the wheat procurement campaign would be removed and foreign experiences regarding storage of wheat on modern lines will be benefited.
Senior Advisor said that on the special interest of Punjab Chief Minister, govt paid due return to the farmers of their wheat crop during last year.
Meanwhile, the Punjab Food Department has initially arranged for 4.4m bardana (gunny sacks) for the procurement of 4m wheat in the province.
Secretary Food Punjab, Sqn Ldr (R) Muhammad Irfan Elahi, in an interview with APP here Friday, said that more bags would be managed to meet the requirements of growers on their doorsteps. He said 50 percent of the total bardana would be distributed during the first fortnight of the wheat procurement drive while the remaining gunny bags would be distributed later. He said a farmer could get maximum 200 bags at a time.
He said farmers could get more bardana subject to the supply of wheat in the already supplied 200 bags. He said the Food Department would purchase four million metric ton wheat worth Rs 95 billion direct from growers, without the involvement of middlemen.
He said the Food Dept would kick off procurement from April 20 and it would continue till achieving the target.
He said nearly 400 purchase centres had been established in all wheat growing areas in the province and their number could be increased as when needed. He said all Divisional Commissioners, District Coordination Officers and Director Food Punjab had been directed to check the performance of all procurement centres and submit a report daily for onward submission to the Chief Minister. Wheat procurement will start daily from 7am to 7pm without break, even on holidays, he said. The secretary said a four-member committee comprising representatives of the local DCO, MPA, farmers and the lumbardar (village head) concerned, would supervise wheat procurement at each centre to ensure a fair deal to the growers.
M Irfan Elahi said that for the convenience of the growers, a toll-free telephone would be re-activated to help redress their genuine grievances and take to task corrupt and inefficient officials. He said on the special directive of the Chief Minister eight high-level special mobile inspection teams at divisional level had also been constituted to monitor the process of wheat procurement across the province.