Govt mulls tightening procurement norms

New Delhi, April 15

The Centre today said the proposal for a change in specifications of grain procurement, including wheat, was formulated after due consultations with scientific and technical institutions and stakeholders keeping in mind the best interests of farmers as well as consumers.

Responding to a media query on proposal to “tighten” grain specifications, Food Secretary Sudhanshu Pandey said the procurement during the ongoing marketing season is being done according to already-notified specifications.

“The norms were framed in 1995 and are revisited periodically. The production process, agriculture collection, mechanisation of farm sector have improved during these years. Climate change has also happened. After months of deliberations with the scientific and technical institutions and stake holders, the standards were revisited while balancing the interest of both the sides. The farmers interest is protected, and the consumer interest is also protected. Those who get the grains under the PDS and do not have much say, their interest is also protected,” he said.

Regarding the changes, he specified that nothing was done on the ground without a notification. “What is happening today is on the basis of notifications already specified. What will happen in future will be on the basis of notifications issued then,” he added.

FCI sources said procurement for the ongoing season is being done according to existing norms. — TNS

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