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The central government Monday told the Supreme Court that it could not limit the procurement of foodgrain to the level of its storage capacity, as it has to give minimum support price to farmers.

The government said the procurement policy has twin objectives of ensuring minimum support price to farmers and meeting the foodgrain requirements for the public distribution system.

In a comprehensive affidavit filed before the bench of Justice Dalvir Bhandri and Justice Deepak Verma, the government said that it was providing foodgrain to above poverty line (APL) card holders only after meeting the requirements of those below the poverty line (BPL) and beneficiaries of the Antyodaya Anna Yojna (AAY).

The court was hearing a petition filed by the People’s Union for Civil Liberties seeking foodgrain for BPL and AAY category card holders and putting in place a storage system to prevent the wastage of foodgrain.

A court commissioner in his report informed the court earlier that 50,000 tonnes of wheat has already deteriorated in government warehouses and was not fit for human consumption.

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