On the request of the Punjab government, the central team would visit the state next week to evaluate the wheat grains arriving in Punjab mandis during the ongoing procurement to work out relaxation norms for wheat procurement.Stating this here today Food Minister Punjab Adaish Pratap Singh Kairon said that wheat grains have started arriving in mandis with higher moisture content because of the unseasonal rains in the region. He said that to evaluate the quality of grains, a technical team would visit the state and collect the grain samples for purposes of getting them scientifically tested in the laboratories for assessing the damaged grains due to unseasonal rains and hail storms in the province.
Mr. Kairon also said that the interests of the farmers would not be compromised at any cost while deciding on Centre’s relaxation norms for wheat procurement. He also said that the farmers have already suffered at the hands of natural calamities and now the Punjab government would not let them lose further for no fault of theirs. He said that he had already met the Union Minister for Consumer Affairs and had briefed him on the changed moisture and colour contents of wheat due to recent heavy rains and hails and he had also assured the state to relax the norms after assessing the situation on arrival of wheat in the mandis.The Minister said that all arrangements have been made to procure 125 lakh tonnes of wheat during this season and the first instalment of sanctioned cash credit limit of Rs 14,640 crore for ensuing procurement of foodgrain in Punjab for the Rabi Marketing Season 2015 has also been received.