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Source: The Tribune (www.tribuneindia.com)

Chandigarh, December 2. The shortage of gunny bags has forced various procurement agencies to stock paddy in used jute bags. The agencies have so far received 5.90 lakh bales of gunny bags against the order placed for 7.71 lakh bales.

The Food and Civil Supplies Department had recently allowed the agencies to use last year’s gunny bags. However, senior officials admit even older bags are being used.

The agencies, including Punsup, Pungrain, Markfed, Punjab Agro Industries Corporation and Punjab State Warehousing Corporation, got gunny bags far below the ordered quantity.

For instance, Punsup received 1.52 lakh bales against the requirement of 1.97 lakh bales. One bale has 500 gunny bags of 50 kg capacity each.

A senior official said high demand for gunny bags from states like Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan during the wheat procurement season had led to the situation. The Directorate General of Supplies and Disposals is the sole agency for supplying gunny bags to different states. It had reportedly failed to make adequate arrangements.

Sources in Pungrain said: “High density polyethylene bags are also being used. But the jute lobby is very strong and it did not allow much supply of polyethene bags. The issue is handled by the Ministry of Textiles”.

Glaring shortfall

* Various paddy procurement agencies have so far received 5.90 lakh bales of gunny bags against the placed order for 7.71 lakh bales

* High demand for gunny bags from states like Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan during the wheat procurement season has led to the shortage

* The authorities recently allowed one-time used gunny bags. But, older bags are also being used

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