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Low-quality sacks hit MP’s bid to send wheat to Kabul

posted Oct 10, 2011, 11:47 PM by Puneet Goyal   [ updated Oct 12, 2011, 11:39 PM ]
Milind Ghatwai
Tags : Gujarat Kandla port, Karachi port, Food Corporation of India, Paras Jain
Posted: Tue Oct 11 2011, 00:26 hrs

Madhya Pradesh’s contribution to the country’s goodwill gesture of sending wheat to Afghanistan has come unstuck due to bad quality of gunny sacks.
Gujarat’s Kandla port, from where the consignment was to reach the Karachi port, and from there by road to the war-ravaged country, has rejected the gunny bags saying they won’t last the distance.
So the first consignment of 2500 MT meant for the neighbouring country will be distributed in Gujarat through the public distribution system, said sources in the Food Corporation of India (FCI).
In June this year, the Centre had announced that 2.5 lakh MT wheat will be gifted to Afghanistan to help it tide over the food crisis caused by drought conditions there. MP’s share in the gesture aimed at improving bilateral ties was 93,000 MT.
MP is known for growing premium quality of wheat. When the first rake reached Kandla, the consignment was rejected because instead of machine-stitched sacks those stitched manually had been used. “Only FCI can answer that question,” Minister of State for Food and Civil Supplies Paras Jain reacted when told that not a grain of MP wheat has reached Kabul though the announcement was made months ago.The minister claimed that the state was forced to purchase the sacks from private suppliers only after the Directorate General of Supplies & Disposals (DGS&D), a Central government body that works under the Union Ministry of Commerce, failed to meet the state’s demand.