LAHORE: The Punjab Food Department has distributed a huge quantity of jute bags sufficient for packing 3.5 million tons of wheat and procured 3.2 million tons direct from growers without the involvement of middlemen since April 15.
Secretary Food Punjab, Muhammad Irfan Elahi told APP, here on Tuesday that more bags would be made available at all procurement centres to meet the requirements of growers at their doorsteps. He said farmers could get more bags subject to supply of wheat in the already supplied 200 bags. He said the food department would purchase five million tons of wheat worth Rs105 billion direct from the growers. He said the procurement kicked off on April 20 and would continue without any respite until the time the target is achieved.
He said all divisional commissioners, district coordination officers and director food were conducting surprise visits to check the performance of procurement centres and submit a report daily for onward submission to the chief minister. Irfan Elahi said for the convenience of the growers a toll-free telephone line has been activated to address their genuine grievances and take to task corrupt and inefficient officials.
He said on the special directive of the chief minister eight highlevel special mobile inspection teams at divisional levels had also been constituted to monitor the process of wheat procurement across the province. It may be mentioned here that DCO Faisalabad Saeed Iqbal had already successfully completed three phases of surprise visits at all 11 centres established in the district and expressed his satisfaction with the arrangements.
Published in the Express Tribune, May 19th, 2010.