Procurement centres
Procurement centres
FP photo

Bhopal: Privatisation of wheat procurement has begun in the state. The food and civil supplies department is going to allow private parties to procure wheat for the first time in the state. The co-operative societies have been procuring wheat till now. The government is also procuring wheat through Farmers' Producers Organisation (FPO) and through a few self-help groups. But, for the first time, the owners of private warehouses are going to get permission for that. The owners of such warehouses will get commission on the procurement. That is going to cause a major loss to the government societies, which have been getting commission on wheat procurement. This time, the government has set up a 3-layered parallel system to compete with these societies. Besides the societies, the government is also involving the self-help groups, FPO and owners of private warehouses in procurement. According to sources in the government, the decision is being taken to save transportation expenses. They say there are complaints against the cooperative societies about committing irregularities in procurement. When the private warehouse owners begin to procure, they may create problems for the farmers.

According to the terms and conditions, a private party has to own a warehouse where 3,000MT of wheat can be stored. The warehouse owner will get the work through the district procurement committee. The owner of warehouse will examine the wheat brought by farmers. For this, the private party concerned has to appoint a quality surveyor.

Against Centre's wish: Giving wheat procurement permission to private warehouse owners is against the Centre's wish. At the time of passing the farm laws, the Union Government said that it was done to end the commission agents. Once the private warehouse owners begin to get commission, they will act like commission agents. Apart from that, as the warehouse owners will be allowed to check the quality of the grain, they may harass the farmers.

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