LAHORE The Punjab government will launch its wheat procurement campaign from April and arrangements are being made in this regard. The government will buy wheat from farmers at the rate of Rs 950 per 40 kg, which has not been changed. Moreover, all arrangements would be finalised till April 12, while from April 15, Baar Danas would be issued while expected date wheat purchase is April 17. As per the Food Department sources, the government has fixed procurement target of 3.5 million metric ton from the province, and for this purpose, 376 procurement centres will be established while these centres will be enhanced according to the requirement. All facilities will be provided to the farmers and Baar Dana would be provided on the recommendation of the Revenue Department. While confirming this, Secretary Food Irfan Elahi further added that special monitoring teams would be deputed to monitor the wheat procurement campaign, and role of middleman would be eliminated. He further said that the government had sold 3.3 million metric ton wheat from the existing stock to various parties so that capacity of storage of the new crop could be increased. Moreover, at a high-level meeting, it was decided to abolish the delivery charges on wheat during upcoming wheat procurement campaign. Meeting reviewed proposals pertaining to wheat release policy 2010-11 under chairmanship of Sardar Zulfiqar Ali Khan Khosa. Chief Secretary Punjab Nasir Mehmood Khosa, Chairman Planning & Development Board Punjab, Javaid Aslam, Secretary Finance Tariq Bajwa, Secretary Food Irfan Elahi and other concerned officers also attended the meeting. In the meeting, it was decided that delivery charges on wheat which had been fixed Rs 7.50 earlier would not be taken during wheat procurement campaign. It was discussed that available stocks of wheat were 6.66 million ton, out of which 3.33 million ton, wheat had been disposed off and now available stock of wheat is 3.33 million ton, while 2.5 million ton of wheat would be remained available till the arrival of new wheat crop in the market. The meeting was told that current year, the area of wheat had been cultivated on 16.5 million acre while expected production would be 18 million ton this year. The meeting informed that the distribution of jute bags and poly propylene bags would be made in a transparent way, and strategy had been worked out in this regard and private godowns would also be hired to store maximum wheat stocks in the covered accommodation. Khosa vowed that rights of small farmers would be protected during procurement campaign. He also directed the authorities concerned to take solid steps for discouraging the role of middleman during wheat procurement campaign so that real farmers could get real payout of their crops. Moreover, supervisory teams have been constituted at District, Tehsil and Union council levels to monitor the wheat procurement campaign. An officer of BP-17 will be appointed to solve the problems of farmers regarding the procurement of each purchase centre of wheat. Also the price of wheat being supplied to the flour mills would not be increased so that supply of Atta (flour) be continued at low price to the consumer.