Monsoon fear: Govt moves 50% of wheat kept open to safe place

Monsoon fear: Govt moves 50% of wheat kept open to safe place

Fearing damage from monsoon rains, the government today said it has already moved almost half of 6.6 million tonnes (MT) of wheat kept in open, in Punjab, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan, to safe places.

The government is grappling with the problem of plenty as its godowns are overflowing with over 82 MT of foodgrains against the storing capacity of 64 MT.

"We have already moved three million tonnes of wheat on a priority basis to safe places. The remaining will be transported next month," Food Minister K V Thomas told PTI.

Due to inadequate storage capacity, the government had been forced to keep 6.6 MT wheat in 'katcha' complexes in Punjab, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan.

The Food Ministry had decided to evacuate 6.6 million tonnes on a priority basis to save grains from getting damaged during monsoon, which has progressed across the country.

To address storage crisis, the ministry had asked state governments to lift foodgrains meant for ration shops for next six months in advance to ease storage crisis.

Besides, the government recently decided to offload additional 8 MT of foodgrains to BPL families and to bulk consumers. It has also allowed export of 2 MT of wheat.

The godowns are full due to higher procurement and production of rice and wheat in the last few years.

Speaking separately at a event organised by Assocham, Thomas said the government manages huge stock of 82 MT of foodgrains and losses are not even 1 lakh tonnes.Foodgrains damages have come down to 0.006 per cent now as against 2.5 per cent five years ago, he said

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