Chandigarh: Punjab roller flour mills today claimed they were facing shortage of wheat, accusing Food Corporation of India (FCI) of “irrational” policy in distributing crop this year to the millers under Open Market Sale Scheme (OMSS).
Anticipating inflationary pressures on prices of wheat based products including wheat flour etc, the millers under the banner of Punjab Roller Flour Millers Association have sought intervention of Union Food Minister Ram Vilas Paswan to ensure adequate supply of crop to the millers by FCI.
“We are facing wheat shortage because of irrational policy being followed by the FCI (Punjab),” Punjab Roller Flour Millers Association, President Naresh Ghai alleged today.
Ghai said under OMSS, FCI was offering only wheat out of 2014-15 Covered and Plinth (CAP) stocks despite the fact that it has covered stock of 2014-15 year crop.
“The wheat stock of 2014-15 CAP is of not good quality, Moreover, the stock is being made available to millers at its depots where there is no flour mill. It is adding cost to the millers in the shape of transportation and logistic cost,” Ghai claimed.
“Apart from this, in many districts of Punjab, wheat is not offered to millers by FCI because there is no availability of 2014-15 CAP wheat. However, wheat stored in covered places is available but that is being shifted to other states by FCI, thus denying good quality wheat to millers in the state,” Ghai claimed.
Ghai said millers are not ready to lift wheat stocks being offered by FCI under OMSS at present adding that despite requesting the FCI to make available crop stored in covered areas, nothing has been done so far.
“We are being forced to procure wheat from neighbouring state Haryana but purchasing wheat from other state is making our trade unviable,” Ghai said.
Punjab has about 75 roller flour mills and the processing industry requires 100,000 lakh metric tonne of wheat per month for meeting its requirement.
“If situation remains the same, there is bound to have an impact on prices of wheat based products because of gap between demand and supply of wheat and rising demand in the wake of Raksha Bandhan,” he said.
Ghai said the association has met Union Minister Ram Vilas Paswan in Amritsar last week and apprised him of the situation.
“We have demanded wheat stock wheat stocks be made available where mills are situated. And sufficient stocks be kept reserved for local needs of the processing industry of the state,” he said. PTI
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