Move wheat out of Bihar: Nitish

Storage crisis in godowns; make space for further procurement

Additional bonus speeds up procurement

Centre’s policy to blame for price rise

PATNA: The Bihar government wants wheat piled up in FCI godowns moved out of the State as the stock is coming in the way of further procurement, depriving farmers of the benefit of minimum support price.

In a letter, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has urged Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar to move at least 1.5 lakh tonnes of wheat.

Record procurement

Bihar had procured a record 3.06 lakh tonnes this year and the Food Corporation of India godowns were facing a storage crisis.

“In our efforts to increase procurement and to ensure that farmers are benefited by the minimum support price, the wheat stocks need to be moved out of the FCI godowns to make storage space for further procurement.”

The State government had been giving an additional bonus of Rs. 25 on every quintal procured with effect from May 14. “This encouragement has actually accelerated the pace of procurement.” Bihar has broken its previous wheat procurement record of 48,000 tonnes in 2001-02.

Reply to PM

Mr. Kumar criticised the economic policies of the Centre and sought the immediate intervention of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to bring down inflation and the skyrocketing prices.

“In spite of the efforts of the State government, the overall inflationary trend in the country has pushed up the prices of essential commodities in Bihar which is affecting the common man. This trend is a result of the overall economic policies of the Centre where the States play no role,” Mr. Kumar said replying to the April 30 letter from the Prime Minister.

Referring to the suggestion for imposing a limit on stocks a trader can keep in a bid to check hoarding, he said though some States had implemented the measure it made no difference to price rise, which was the result of the Centre’s economic policies. — PTI

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