Govt stipulates norms for private players purchasing wheat directly

New Delhi, Mar 29 | Updated: Mar 30 2007, 06:48am hrs
The Union agriculture minister, Sharad Pawar said that he was not in favour of imposing a ban on direct purchase of agricultural produces by corporates and multinationals from farmers. But they should give details of the about their stock position, if they purchase cereals more than 50,000 tonne.

The minister, on Thursday, said, Government has not banned any purchase of cereals by corporates and MNCs directly from farmers. But we have stipulated norms for disclosure of stocks by corporates, MNCs and traders. I want the farmers to get a better price for their produce and at the same time I do not want any hoarding of stocks leading to market manipulations which may adversely affect the consumers.

Pawar assured that the government designated agencies would do their best to purchase grains from farmers for maintaining the buffer stock and at the same time it would not hesitate to import if the situation demanded. He said that global market trends show that wheat prices are on a downslide and hence imports at this stage would be cheaper.

He expects that the wheat production in the country in the current season would cross the official estimate of 72.6 million tonne, while trade estimate suggest it would be more than 74 million tonne and farmers estimate a bumper harvest crossing 80 million tonne - a record output.

Thus all estimates suggest abundant wheat availability in the country, against the estimated demand for only 60 million tonne.