Hyderabad: Agriculture Minister S Niranjan Reddy stated that the Centre had utterly failed in terms of paddy procurement. He accused that the Union government had no specific policy on paddy procurement for the Yasangi season and was showing discrimination towards Telangana State, despite purchasing entire paddy crop from Punjab.
Addressing the mediapersons at Telangana Bhavan here on Tuesday, the Minister said the Centre had encouraged the States to supply boiled rice during Yasangi season till last year and had suddenly started refusing to procure them, putting the farmers as well as millers in a jeopardy. “The Union government is extending various incentives and subsidies to farmers in Punjab, and then purchasing their entire crop. But farmers in Telangana are not being given any such support. Why the farmers of Telangana are being given a step-motherly treatment, when they have surpassed Punjab in paddy production without getting any help from the Centre?” he questioned.
“The State government pays to farmers immediately after purchasing paddy from them and it will take another six months for the Centre to release funds for the paddy purchases. For nearly six months period, the State government is responsible for interests for payments made as well as other expenditure,” he added.
Niranjan Reddy pointed out that Union Minister Nitin Gadkari said huge quantity of rice stocks got accumulated in the country due to which the Centre cannot purchase paddy, while BJP State president Bandi Sanjay advises farmers in Telangana State to cultivate paddy against the Centre’s policies. Thus, he stated that the BJP leaders were creating utter confusion among farmers. He demanded that as a Union Minister and native of Telangana State, G Kishan Reddy must take the responsibility and get some clarity from the Centre in this regard or get ready to bear the consequences.
Civil Supplies Minister Gangula Kamalakar stated that Union Minister Piyush Goyal advised the State government to reduce paddy cultivation and refused to increase paddy purchases, citing huge stocks available in the godowns. “Though we requested Union Minister G Kishan Reddy and BJP State president Bandi Sanjay through media statements for taking up the State’s cause with the Union government, they have not responded. At least now, they must intervene and ensure that the Centre procures entire paddy crop or take the responsibility for the Centre’s failure,” he said. He said the Centre was neither procuring paddy nor empowering the State’s to purchase and store the paddy by making necessary amendments to the existing laws.
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