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Punjab Cabinet approves wheat procurement drive




  • Punjab Cabinet in its first meeting chaired by caretaker Chief Minister Najam Sethi here on Saturday approved wheat procurement campaign 2013-14. Punjab ministers, chief secretary, secretaries attended the meeting. The cabinet meeting while dwelling on wheat procurement campaign kept four million metric tons as its target. 

    Chief Minister Sethi on the occasion said that all arrangements for wheat procurement had been made, adding that gunny bags would be distributed in the province from April 15, while wheat procurement campaign would commence from April 20. Chief Minister Najam Sethi stressing upon transparency of the wheat procurement campaign in the meeting averred that 376 procurement centres would be established in the province, out of which, 183 were flag centres whereas 193 were formal storage centres. Sethi stated that in order provide maximum advantage to the farmer; commodity would not be sold to middleman. 

    The Chief Minister dilated that complaint centres were being established at provincial, divisional and district level. Najam Sethi vowed that complaints of farmers in wheat procurement campaign would be dealt on priority basis. He said this campaign would be monitored on daily basis. 

    Chief Minister said that wheat procurement centres would open in the province from 8:00am to 5:00pm. He said the process of distribution of gunny bags (Bardana) among the farmers would be transparent and impartial, and warned that in case of any complaint, strict disciplinary action would be taken. 

    He directed the concerned officials that the process of distribution of Bardana among farmers should be completely transparent and impartial and its provision to small farmers should be ensured on priority basis. The CM said the provincial caretaker cabinet had decided that the role of middleman should be strongly discouraged during the wheat procurement campaign for providing maximum benefit to the farmers. He directed concerned authorities to take such effective steps for stopping the role of middleman to give maximum benefit to the farmers. 

    He said that complaint centres regarding wheat procurement would be established at provincial, district and division level where farmers could get register their complaints. Najam Sethi said the basic responsibility of caretaker government was to ensure holding of elections in the province in a transparent and impartial manner and vowed that caretaker government would discharge that national responsibility efficiently. 

    He said that law and order situation in the province would be further improved and the ongoing projects continued. During the meeting, the Secretary Food gave a briefing to the caretaker cabinet regarding the arrangements made for wheat procurement campaign and informed that monitoring committees had been constituted at tehsil and district level which would review the procurement campaign on daily basis. Concerned District Co-ordination Officer will be the head of monitoring committee at district level whereas complaint cells have been setup at Secretariat of Food Department, Directorate and Divisional level for immediate redressal of the complaints of farmers and their number will be toll free. Secretary Finance informed the cabinet about the preparations of budget for the new fiscal year. 

    Copyright Business Recorder, 2013

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