Lahore: Secretary Food Punjab, Irfan Ali while announcing wheat procurement for the year 2013-14, has said that Punjab Food Department will purchase four million metric ton wheat directly from the farmers this year for which Rs.120 billion will be required.
He said that wheat will be purchased at the rate of Rs.1200/- per 40 kg while Rs.7.5 per 100 kg will be paid as transportation charges on jute bags. He said that distribution of gunny bags will be started from April 15 and wheat procurement will be started on 20th April by of 374 purchase centers. He informed that 50% gunny bags will be issued in initial 15 days, 30% in next 15 days and 20% in the last 15 days. The last date for issuance of gunny bags is May 31 while wheat procurement will continue on all purchase centers till June 7, he added.
He said that Food Department and PASSCO will purchase wheat from their respective areas from 8.00 am to 7.00 pm in all seven days of the week. He said that toll free numbers have been provided at Food Secretariat Directorate and all districts for the redressal of the complaints of the farmers. He said that three supervisory committees have been constituted for making wheat procurement process transparent. The committee at district level will comprise District Coordination Officer, District Police Officer, Executive District Officer Agriculture, District Food Controller and representatives of the farmers, the committee at tehsil level will consist of Assistant Commissioner, Sub-Divisional Police Officer, Tehsil Agriculture Officer, Assistant Food Controller and representatives of the cultivators while the committee at the centers will comprise Centre Coordinator, Numberdar of the village or mouza, Incharge Centre and representatives of the farmers.
He further said that during the wheat procurement campaign private purchasers can also purchase and export wheat and there will be no ban on transportation of wheat. He said that corruption and irregularity would not be tolerated during the wheat procurement and if any official is found involved in such practice, strict disciplinary action will be taken against him.