Waiving quality standards for wheat purchases in Punjab and Haryana

The Center has dispatched a team to Punjab and Haryana to inspect the quality of wheat arriving at terminal markets (mandis) and procurement centers. It is possible that the Center would reduce the requirements for obtaining the cereal in the two States for the Central pool stocks. Before Monday, a decision to ease procurement standards is likely to be made after receiving the report (April 10). Furthermore, the Center’s 34.15 million tonne procurement goal is not projected to be affected by agricultural damage brought on by unseasonal rains and hailstorms (mt).

Madhya Pradesh was given permission last month to buy wheat under eased conditions with the stipulation that if the grain’s shine is lost by more than 10%, payment must be roughly $5.31 per quintal less than the minimum support price of $2,125 per quintal. When official purchases of wheat started on April 1, the Deputy Chief Minister of Haryana, Dushyant Chautala, urged the Center to ease the quality standards for wheat being purchased during the current 2023–24 season. Only 28 tonnes have been bought out of the almost 27,000 tonnes that have already landed in Haryana.

Union Food Secretary Sanjeev Chopra said there is some impact on quality as a result of the unseasonal rains in a statement to the media on Thursday. “We have already relaxed MP’s luster loss requirements. Punjab and Haryana have both made identical requests to us. As we speak, our staff members are already on the ground gathering samples and attempting to determine how much of a reduction there has been in comparison to the fair average quality (FAQ) requirements.

Despite the crop’s later arrival this season, the Food Corporation of India (FCI) has purchased 0.63 mt of wheat, with nearly 99 percent of that quantity coming from just Madhya Pradesh. Compared to 1.98 mt last year, arrivals are currently at 1.64 mt. Notwithstanding adverse weather conditions in some regions of the nation that have a negative impact on the quality of the grains, the Food Secretary stated that the government is optimistic about a record wheat production of 112.18 mt in the crop year 2022–23 (July–June).

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