LAHORE - The Pakistan Agricultural Storage and Services Corporations wheat procurement drive is in full swing while PASSCO has procured at least 238,235 metric tons wheat during the first week of wheat procurement campaign. The PASSCO has been assigned overall procurement target of 1.5 million tons. Out of this quantity, the bulk with a volume of 213,505 metric tons wheat has been procured in Punjab. The procurement in Sindh is to the tune of 20,93C metric tons while 3800 metric tons wheat has been procured in Balochistan, PASSCO officials said here on Thursday. The Corporation further hoped that they would surpass the target allocated by the federal government owing to the record wheat production. The organization (PASSCO) is buying wheat in the allocated 15 Tebsils of Punjab, with token presence in Sindh (Khairpur) and in Balochistan (Dera Allah Yar). The organization has made all necessary arrangements to buy wheat upto 1.5 million tons and could comfortably cater for any additional procurement to absorb any marketable surplus of wheat after it would achieve the original target. According to the officials, PASSCO management has constituted an organized committee comprising local public representatives at every procurement center to address the problems of growers. The committee comprises one representative of PASSCO, one elected representative like Tehsil Nazim and a number of progressive farmers. The PASSCO management said that the wheat procurement drive would continue till all the marketable surplus of wheat, in its designated procurement area, is lifted. Furthermore, PASSCO has made adequate financial, administrative and logistic arrangements to ensure smooth and unimpeded wheat procurement. The organization has geared itself to go beyond the assigned target of 1.5 million tons, if required. For this all arrangements have already been made. PASSCO also claimed that it has made ample arrangements for Bardana (jute bags) and the same is being provided to all growers without any problems/impediments. The PASSCO has opened a help line to address any complaints, including direct mobile and PTCL Number of the MD PASSCO and General Manager (Field). PASSCO management has expressed its resolve to ensure transparency, hassle-free transactions and prompt payment to farmers. On April 21st, and 22nd, Federal Secretary Food and Agriculture Muhammad Zia-ur-Rehman and Managing Director PASSCO Major General Anwar Saeed Khan visited the PASSCO wheat procurement pones and purchase centers at Okara, Mian Channu, Burewala, Mailsi, Vehari and Pakpattan to monitor first-hand arrangements for wheat procurement. On this occasion, Managing Director PASSCO and Federal Secretary were informed by the growers that they are getting the fixed price Rs 950 per 40-kg besides Rs 7 per bag as delivery charges. Managing Director PASSCO and Federal Secretary MINFAL met the farmers and officials during their visit and found that the procurement was proceeding smoothly and efficiently.