New Delhi: The Food Corporation of India (FCI) is facing severe storage shortage owing to the increasing procurement of wheat. The agencies involved in procurement are going ahead with temporary storage facilities, whereas the Centre’s announcement to build new godowns is still on the paper.

The wheat procurement has reached to the highest level in Punjab and Madhya Pradesh. In Punjab, closed rice mills and factories are being used as warehouses for wheat storage while in Madhya Pradesh school and college buildings are being used for the same.

Union Minister of State for Food K V Thomas’ proposal to build warehouses in Punjab and Haryana for the storage of additional 85 lakh tonnes of wheat is gathering dust.

Continued procurement of wheat has led to piling up of stocks in mandis. In the current season the wheat procurement is too close to the target of 2.62 crore tones, while in the old stock of Central pool, 153 lakh tonnes of wheat is already lying. This stock of wheat will become 360 lakh tonnes on July 1.

According to data released by the Food Ministry on Tuesday, 2.5 crore tonnes of wheat has been bought so far in which Punjab tops the list with 1.08 crore tonnes of wheat. Food Ministry sources revealed that in Punjab over one crore tonnes of wheat will be kept in temporary warehouses.
JPN/Bureau