Madhya Pradesh has had a bumper wheat harvest this rabi season, so much so the State does not have enough gunny sacks to pack the procured produce.
Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chauhan on Wednesday called on Union Minister of State for Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution K.V. Thomas in New Delhi and complained of the shortage. Mr. Thomas assured him that the matter would be taken up with the Textiles Ministry.
According to Mr. Chauhan, “Procurement is being disturbed due to non-supply of the requisite number of gunny bags by the Union government.”
Briefing Mr. Thomas on the successful wheat harvest — 36 lakh tonnes till date and a total estimated procurement of 80 lakh tonnes by May 20 — Mr. Chauhan requested him to “ask the Food Corporation of India to lift the quota of one lakh tonnes per week from the State.”
Alleging that Madhya Pradesh suffered injustice at the hands of the Centre, the Chief Minister said the FCI was avoiding lifting its quota from Madhya Pradesh even as it moved much larger quantities of wheat from other States.
The process of lifting wheat needed to be completed by May 20 before the onset of monsoon, Mr. Chauhan said.
Madhya Pradesh relies on a completely computerised “e-procurement” system — from registration of farmers to depositing payments in their bank accounts — and has been offering a bonus of Rs.100 over and above the minimum support price of Rs.1,285 per quintal for wheat.