Punjab delivers more rice

Punjab delivers more rice

The supply of rice stock from Punjab to other states has picked up for 2011-2012 season, said a senior official of Food Corporation of India on Wednesday.

It has risen by 8 lakh tonnes in comparison to the corresponding period last year, he added.

Punjab fulfills almost 30 per cent of country’s total rice requirement. The rice millers are delivering 18.77 lakh tonne of the grain.

The official attributed the rise to the fast movement of food grain stock from Punjab to other states.

"This year the movement of wheat and rice stock is quite satisfactory and we expect over 160 lakh tonne of food grain stock will be evacuated from state godowns to other states by end of March which will leave enough vacant space for storage of rice," he said.

Punjab government and rice millers have always blamed FCI for slow movement of food grain from the state to consuming states which cause shortage of storage space. Space constraint has always been cited as main reason by rice millers for delay in delivery of rice.

Punjab faces shortage of 70 lakh tonne of space for storing food grain though construction of new storage capacity is underway. “The government has not accepted rice millers demand, seeking relaxation in damage content from three  to four per cent.

Now, they are left with no option but to deliver rice," added the official. However, Punjab is yet to deliver over 3 lakh tonne of rice pending for the year 2010-11 as the state was to contribute 86.4 lakh tonne for the same period.