State CLP Leader Sunil Jakhar on Thursday slammed the state govt for,what he termed as,callous attitude towards the storage of foodgrain in the state. Jakhar said,that while the SAD leadership has been blaming the Congress and the Centre from time to time for not showing due concern to the plight of farmers,the state,however,has been exhibiting double standards on the storage of foodgrain.
He further added that the Food Corporation of India (FCI) had sanctioned covered godowns,that can store nearly 51 lakh MT of grains,for Punjab. As part of the scheme,the CLP leader said,tenders under a guarantee scheme were floated by the state appointed nodal agency Pungrain wherein Pungrain would have to just act as a facilitator between a private entrepreneur and FCI,which has to store the stock and bear all costs including rent,preservation and other incidental charges.
Jakhar further said it was shocking to know that whereas a capacity of 12.5 lakh MT of this covered storage is already ready in the state and the FCI had approved its takeover,the Punjab government was unmoved and placing the fresh arrival of wheat stocks in open plinths. He accused the state government of playing havoc with the countrys food security by allowing the wheat stock to rot in the open. The godowns can store stock worth Rs 1,800 crore,an amount that will immediately be released to the state by the FCI once the wheat is stored inside the godowns. But it seems that the state govt officers have vested interest in storing wheat in the open,Jakhar said.
Questioning the state governments intentions and sensing a scam worth hundreds of crores,the CLP leader said that it seems that the Punjab government was waiting for the grain to rot,so that it can make its way to states grain based distilleries at one-third the price.