As the Opposition briefly held up proceedings in the Lok Sabha and caused a 10-minute adjournment during the zero hour,the government conceded that there was a mismatch between the procurement and storage of wheat.
Making a brief intervention to help restore calm in the House,Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee assured the members that the government will try to ease the situation by encouraging exports and offering wheat as part of the wages under the MGNREGA.
While Leader of Opposition Sushma Swaraj raised the issue of short supply of jute bags for packing wheat,JD(U) chief Sharad Yadav demanded that the Prime Minister convene a meeting to discuss the crisis created by non-procurement. He mentioned the danger of rain damaging mounds of foodgrain lying on the roadside.
The Chair had to adjourn the House for 10 minutes when members cutting across party lines created an uproar. After the adjournment,BJP leader L K Advani,Sharad Yadav,Rewati Raman Singh of the SP,Santosh Chaudhary of the Congress were seen walking up to Mukherjee.
After the House met again,Mukherjee agreed that the country had seen a record production of both wheat and rice. However,in the last two-three years,because of the high MSP,procurement had become the primary responsibility of the government agencies belonging to both the states and the Centre. But,the creation of the godown space is not keeping a match with the rate of procurement, he said,adding,There is a mismatch.