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TelanganaCentre sticks to its stand on paddy procurement from Telangana

Centre sticks to its stand on paddy procurement from Telangana

Published: 3rd Dec 2021 10:01 pm

Hyderabad: The Centre refused to budge from its stand on paddy procurement from Telangana, stating that it will not purchase parboiled rice from the State for Yasangi season. The Union government was also not willing to consider the State’s demand to come up with the raw rice procurement target for Yasangi.

Replying to a question by TRS floor leader K Keshava Rao in Rajya Sabha on Friday, Union Food and Public Distribution Minister Piyush Goyal categorically said the quantity of raw rice that the Centre was willing to purchase during the Yasangi season cannot be fixed till the Vaanakalam procurement was completed.

Not satisfied with the Union Minister’s reply, the TRS members staged a walkout from the Upper House. Piyush Goyal sought to get off the hook by blaming the State government alleging that it was not maintaining records properly and not supplying rice as per the agreement, even as the TRS MPs maintained that the Centre was not giving any clarity on the procurement of parboiled rice.

The Union Minister said Telangana government was undertaking direct procurement of paddy from farmers, storing and distributing the procured Custom Milled Rice (CMR) under National Food Security Act (NFSA) and other welfare schemes. After meeting the State’s needs, only the surplus CMR was delivered to Food Corporation of India (FCI) for central pool account for supply to other States.

In a supplementary query, Keshava Rao asked Goyal whether the Union government plans to procure the entire rice crop irrespective of variety from Telangana. Displaying a newspaper copy, he said Union Tourism Minister G Kishan Reddy had already given the answer in the news report where he said that as Union Minister, he would ensure that every grain of rice from Telangana will be procured by the Centre. “Does the government stand by this statement? We are talking about whatever is left with us. Last year, you took 94.54 lakh tonnes,” he said.

Piyush Goyal, however, feigned ignorance and went on to state that Telangana said it would not deliver parboiled rice to the FCI in future. He stated that Central government had been consistently increasing the procurement target year on year. The Centre procured 51.9 lakh tonnes in 2018-19 from Telangana and it was increased to 74.54 lakh tonnes in 2019-20 and 94.54 lakh tonnes in 2020-21.

“I don’t know about other statements referred to. This is the most responsive government to farmers’ interest. Telangana is mixing up the past with the future. We will procure the rice stocks with Telangana as per the agreements,” the Union Minister said.

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