In a written communique to the Punjab government, the government of India has given its nod to include other interested and eligible persons from across the country in the bidding process under the laid down norms in disposing of the damaged wheat in the state.
    
Disclosing this here today, an official spokesperson of the government said the government and its procurement agencies have damaged wheat to the tune of 6 lakh tonnes.
    
As per the earlier guidelines of the central government, only those parties registered with Food Corporation of India were eligible for participation in the tendering process.
    
There were about 30-40 parties available in India registered with FCI for the purchase of damaged wheat.
    
Adding further, he said that these parties allegedly connived with each other and pool the tender and offered "very less rates" to the procurement agencies, consequently state government agencies suffered "huge financial losses".
    
He also said that majority of these bidders had limited purchasing capacity as a result they lifted only some part of the damaged wheat.
    
The disposal of damaged wheat because of these limited numbers of bidders' was very slow and the procurement agencies were also compelled to bear the warehousing expenses for the damaged wheat, he said.
     
After getting an approval of the government of India, the state government has decided to register such perspective bidders with the Department of Food, Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs, Punjab who were eligible for purchase of damaged wheat from Punjab, he said.

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