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Bhubaneswar (Odisha) [India], October 10 (ANI): Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Sunday sought intervention by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, asking him to issue a direction to the Department of Food and Public Distribution to accept estimated surplus parboiled rice from the state for Kharif Marketing season of 2021-22.
In the letter, he said, "Odisha became a Decentralized Procurement (DCP) State in the Kharif Marketing Season(KMS) 2003-04. Since then the State has been undertaking MSP operations for procurement of paddy in decentralized mode. Such Decentralized Procurement has improved the outreach of MSP support to paddy growers. The rice milled from the paddy so procured is being used under the National Food Security Act and Other Welfare Schemes of Government of India and the surplus rice is being delivered to the Food Corporation of India (FCI)."
"I am glad that during the KMS 2020-21, around 14 lakh farmers have sold 77.33 lakh MT of paddy (equivalent to 52.35 MT of rice) to the State Government and MSP dues of about Rs. 14,444 crores have been transferred to the bank accounts of the farmers within 24 to 48 hours of purchase of paddy. This has not only benefited the farmers but also strengthened the rural economy of the State, especially during the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. The State Government has made special efforts to extend procurement operations to remote areas of the State besides putting in place a transparent system in which all processes are leveraged by IT applications," Patnaik said.
The Chief Minister further wrote, "In connection with paddy procurement, it is pertinent to mention here that Central government has intimated that for the next KMS, no surplus parboiled rice shall be accepted from Odisha by the Food Corporation of India. It may kindly be noted that in the upcoming KMS 2021-22 Odisha is estimated to procure 52 lakh MT of rice. The State's own requirement of rice under all the schemes is about 24 lakh MT. This goes to indicate that the State will have a surplus of 28 lakh MT of rice out of which only 4 lakh MT will be raw rice. That leaves the State with a balance of 24 lakh MT of parboiled rice for evacuation by FCL. But the latest decision of DFPD has put a question mark on the lifting of the said surplus rice from the State."
The Chief Minister highlighted that Odisha is primarily a parboiled rice consuming State and historically, therefore, Odisha's rice milling Industry overwhelmingly produces parboiled rice. The State is therefore not in a position to face the situation arising due to a paradigm shift in surplus rice delivery profile imposed on the State by DFPD.
"Non- lifting of the above quantity of surplus parboiled rice from the State due to the restrictions imposed by DFPD has the potential of severely affecting the State's paddy procurement operations. This will affect about 10 lakh farmers and put them in serious trouble especially during this COVID-19 pandemic situation," he said.
Chief Minister requested the personal intervention of Prime Minister for issuing a direction to DFPD to accept the estimated surplus parboiled rice from the State for the next KMS 2021-22. "Further, reasonable time may also be given to the State to align itself with the requirements of DFPD," he said. (ANI)