The Punjab government has completed all arrangements for procurement of four million tons of wheat at the rate of Rs 1,200 per 40-kg from the farmers this season, spokesman of Food Department said on Friday. The government has set up 374 wheat purchase centres across the province for this purpose.
He said according to the estimates of Agriculture Department, this year wheat production is expected 18.627 million ton in Punjab as compared to the previous year of 17.738 million ton, therefore, there is no chance of any crisis of wheat this year. The Department has taken all measures to overcome such situation that was why Food Department has not imposed any ban on the purchase and transportation of wheat so that the atmosphere of competition could be created among the public and private sector and the farmers get due return of their produce.
The spokesman strongly contradicted the news items published in a section of the press regarding posting of favourite staff and smuggling of wheat. He said that like previous year bardana at the rate of eight bags per acre wheat cultivation will be issued to the farmers after verification according to the record of Revenue Department.
He said that the concerned DCO has posted officers of other departments on all centers as Centre Co-ordinators who will send their recommendations to the center in-charge for issuance of bardana after verification of girdiwari record available at the center and after that, bardana will be issued to the concerned farmer. The spokesman said that the staff of Food Department has been posted on permanent basis and the officials involved in any sensitive inquiry or financial irregularity would not be included in wheat procurement campaign. He said that the in-charge of all divisions are very competent and have the ability of achieving fixed wheat target. Secretary Food has also issued instructions with regard to intolerance of negligence, maximum purchase of wheat for the first fortnight, immediate reaction to media reports, election, free purchase from the people and equal treatment to all farmers.