Resumption of wheat procurement unlikely to improve Haryana tally
Centre’s decision to resume procurement of wheat for 10 more days -- soon after banning its export after new low-output estimates -- is unlikely to help the Haryana government in improving its procurement tally, which is around 50% less than the last year.
The state mandis are wearing a deserted look as the procured wheat has already been lifted and migrant labourers engaged in operations have gone back with no farmers arriving with their produce.There was no arrival of wheat in most of the mandis on Monday, while only 30 quintal wheat came to Karnal’s new grain market. Officials from the Kurukshetra food and supplies controller also said that there was no arrival of wheat in mandis of the district.
“All farmers associated with us have already sold their produce. Even their payments have been cleared. That is why nobody is bringing the wheat to the mandis now,” said Sohan Lal, a commission agent of Kurukshetra’s Ladwa grain market.
Mandi officials and arhtiyas said the decision is unlikely to evoke any response from the stockists or farmers until the government announces any bonus as the prices in open market have gone up to ₹2,200 per quintal against the MSP of ₹2,015.
Chief minister Manohar Lal, while addressing a gathering at Jagadhri of Yamunanagar, had said that in order to ensure that every poor person of the country gets food grains, wheat will be procured again in Haryana for 10 days from May 16 to May 25.
But traders and arhtiyas are of the view that the move to resume the procurement operations soon after banning the export of wheat indicates that the government needs more wheat and the decision was based on reports of stocks by private traders.
“In other words, this is an opportunity for the stockists and farmers, who did not sell their produce expecting a rise in the prices in the open market. But we haven’t seen any response yet,” said an official of the Haryana State Agriculture Market Board.
As per the figures of the Haryana food, civil supplies and consumer affairs department, which monitors the procurement operations, only 42.72 lakh MT of wheat was procured from April 1 to May 15, which is around 50% less than the last year’s 84.93 lakh MT.
Besides, 1.32 lakh MT was procured by the private traders as per the government record. This is the lowest procurement in the state after 2007-08 when the government agencies had procured 33.5 lakh MT wheat.
“Since the farmers have already sold their produce, this decision has been made to bring out the stock of wheat bought by the private traders and the government may conduct raids to bring this wheat in the mandis,” said a Karnal-based trader pleading anonymity.
Even in April, amid reports of trading of wheat outside mandis by private traders, the Haryana government had decided to inspect procurement by private traders and checkposts were installed to track movement of foodgrains purchased outside mandis without payment of market fee and rural development funds.
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