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Punjab Requests Wheat Procurement Norm Relaxation After Rain Damage, Central Teams Collect Samples

Punjab has requested relaxation in procurement norms for wheat following recent hailstorms and rainfall, which damaged crops. Four central teams have collected 54 samples from five districts, and the state government has already announced compensation for affected farmers. The Punjab Food Secretary wrote to the central government seeking relaxed specifications for damaged and broken grains.

Shivangi Rai
The Teams visited five districts including Sangrur, Patiala, Ludhiana, Ferozepur, and Mohali and collected 54 samples.
The Teams visited five districts including Sangrur, Patiala, Ludhiana, Ferozepur, and Mohali and collected 54 samples.

With Punjab seeking relaxation in specifications of norms for procurement of wheat, four central teams have already collected samples to evaluate the damage to the wheat crop during recent untimely rainfall and hailstorms.

After the rains and winds, the state government has already reported the damaged grains and loss of wheat.

Five districts were visited by the team including Sangrur, Patiala, Ludhiana, Mohali, and Ferozepur to collect 54 samples. The teams collected 1 from Ferozepur 8 from Ludhiana, 10 from Patiala, 15 samples from Mohali, and 20 from Sangrur. An official of the Punjab government said, “The teams arrived yesterday and visited these districts in two days. They are back in Chandigarh on Friday evening. They will go back to Delhi on Saturday and then send a report. After that, the Centre will decide on the specifications.”

The teams visited Mandis including Khanna, Asia’s largest grain market, Dera Bassi, Banur, Lalru, Khanouri, Moonak, Rajpura, Macchiwara, Sunam, and Mamdot. The farmers have been complaining about damage to the crop. The state government has already announced compensation for the farmers. Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann has said several times that before Baisakhi the farmers would get cheques.

Gurkirat Kirpal Singh, Punjab Food Secretary had written a letter to the Centre two days ago, seeking relaxations in specifications of norms. In his letter to Sanjeev Chopra, Secretary, Government of India, Ministry of Consumer Affairs and Distribution, Singh said, “On the basis of the initial sampling of the grains, I would request to relax the uniform specifications to allow up to 6% damaged grain, up to 12% slightly damaged grains, up to 15% broken grains and up to 100% sheen loss.”

The letter stated, “In recent days, heavy rains accompanied by strong winds have affected the whole State of Punjab leading to flattening of the crop and inundation of the fields. This has the capability to adversely affect the produce and the quality of the standing wheat crops. The state government has already started the process to evaluate the crop damage and the final figures are expected to be received shortly.”

He added, “A major fallout of these unseasonal rains is the increase in discolouration/damage/breakage of grains, which is already being witnessed in the meagre arrivals of wheat in some Mandis in the state.”

Unfavourable weather conditions are beyond the control of the farmers and any natural change in the texture of the grain deserves to be considered sympathetically.

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