Wheat purchase target may be further increased: Rana Tanveer

Each and every grain would be lifted and interest of farmers would be fully safeguarded

FAISALABAD   -   Federal Minister for Industries, Production and National Food Security & Research Rana Tanveer Hussain has said that the target of wheat purchase may be further increased to ensure a fair price to the growers as the government is sincere about facilitating wheat growers at maximum extent.

During his visit to PASSCO Center Nia Lahore Jhang Road, Tehsil Gojra near here on Saturday, he said that Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif had taken strict notice of unavailability of Bardana (gunny bags) to the growers despite clear instructions of the government to start a purchase drive.

He assured that each and every grain would be lifted and interest of the farmers would be fully safeguarded. He said that Pakistan Agricultural Storage & Services Corporation Limited (PASSCO) had been directed to adopt a comprehensive strategy to purchase maximum wheat from the growers in a free, fair and transparent manner. In this connection, PASSCO has so far received 88,000 applications out of which 1500 applications were verified and the company started the procurement process, he added.

He said that PASSCO had established its procurement centers in 13 tehsils across Punjab where necessary facilities were provided for wheat growers and their apprehensions would be removed. He said that Pakistan had witnessed a bumper wheat crop this year despite harsh weather and climate change. We are hopeful that current crop would not only cater to the domestic food requirements easily but we may also export its surplus, he added. He said that the government had also decided to provide fertilizer at cheaper rates so that the farmers could meet crop expenditures easily.

He also visited various sections of the PASSCO Center and directed the staff to deal with the growers politely and purchase their wheat produce under free, fair and transparent manner as no negligence or embezzlement would be tolerated. PASSCO Managing Director Emad Nazir Ahmad briefed the minister about wheat procurement and said that PASSCO was issuing Bardana (bags) after registering growers from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily.

He said that Bardana of 8 bags was issued for one acre and one farmer could obtain maximum 100 bags. Bardana is being issued on a “first come, first served” basis after verification of registration and revenue record. He said that growers could get Bardana after depositing Rs.530 per bag as security through pay order, demand draft and call deposit while the center would charge Rs.40 from the growers as delivery charges per bag of 100 kg weight. All these instructions were displayed at conspicuous places at all procurement centers of the PASSCO whereas the growers could also contact PASSCO toll free number 0800-72772, Assistant Commissioner (Revenue), Zonal Head, Project Manager or Center Incharge for more guidance, he added.

Deputy Secretary CM Office Rabia Mohsin, Deputy Commissioner (DC) Toba Tek Singh Muhammad Naeem Sindhu, Assistant Commissioner Gojra Nauman Ali Dogar, Incharge PASSCO Wheat Purchase Center Nia Lahore Jhang Road Ameer Ali, Assistant Incharge Hafiz Nauman and others were also present.

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