''The arrival of wheat as on May 1, 2008 was recorded at 166.03 lakh MTs compared to last year's arrival on the same date at 105.15 lakh MTs. The procurement was reported at 92.88 per cent of the arrivals on date in (2008-09), in comparison to 78.29 per cent in 2007-08,'' FCI Chairman and Managing Director Alok Sinha informed reporters here today.
He said the procurement during the current year till now is 72 lakh MTs more compared to last year on the same date, ''And, with the current pace of arrivals, it is expected that FCI may mop-up 175 lakh MTs wheat under the MSP operations against the target of 150 lakh MTs,'' he added.
The procurement position of wheat in the last five years was : 167.96 lakh MTs (2004-05), 147.85 lakh MTs (2005-06), 92.31 lakh MTs (2006-07), 111.28 lakh MTs (2007-08) and 154.22 lakh MTs (upto May 1, 2008-09).
The major contributors to the central pool are the States of Punjab (82.94 lakh MTs) and Haryana (46.52 lakh MTs). This year, other States like Madhya Pradesh (9,51 lakh MT), Rajasthan (5.5 lakh MT), U.P. (8.16 lakh MT) and Gujarat (1.13) have also contributed to the central kitty, whereas in earlier seasons these States were making only marginal contributions.
Gujarat has for the first time made wheat procurement to the tune of 1.13 lakh MT.
Mr Sinha further said the FCI and the Government have taken certain steps this year for enhancement of the procurement which include, ''increase in MSP by Rs 150 to Rs 1000 per quintal, an incentive of Rs 10 to the farmers, if they deliver the stocks at FCI depots, an incentive of Rs 19.17 per quintal to bring wheat directly to FCI Silos at Kaithal and Moga, other professional agencies like NCMSL, NAFED and NBHC have also been engaged in the States like MP, Gujarat and Rajasthan so that wider cverage under the MSP operations could be done.'' Commission agents/artias have been allowed to be engaged in for procurement of wheat on the pattern of Punjab and Haryana in other States and their commission has been enhanced upto 2.5 per cent, Mr Sinha said.
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