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Punjab wants centre to move 68 lakh tonnes stocked wheat 

Chandigarh, April 10 (IANS) As the procurement process for wheat began on Friday, the Punjab government asked the central government for movement of 68 lakh tonnes of wheat already stocked in the state.

Punjab Mandi Board chairman Ajmer Singh Lakhowal said on Friday that the central government has been asked to move the existing stocks of wheat to other states. He said that railway authorities have also been urged to provide more rakes.

Once the bulk supply of wheat starts coming from next week onwards, there won’t be enough space to store the fresh stock till the earlier stocks remain in the warehouses, he said.

The board has set up 1,814 centres for the procurement of wheat.

Lakhowal said that more such centres could be established if required.

The union government has fixed wheat procurement target at 30.05 million tonnes during the current season (April-May) against 28 million tonnes purchased in 2014.

Food grain states Punjab and Haryana have fixed their respective wheat procurement target at 12 million tonnes and seven million tonnes.

Madhya Pradesh (six mn tonnes), Uttar Pradesh (three mn) and Rajasthan (1.8 mn)are expected to add to the target.

The targets have been revised and lowered for most states owing to the damage to standing wheat crop from rainfall, strong winds and hailstorms in March.

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