Hyderabad: Union Food and Public Distribution Minister Piyush Goyal on Friday sought to blame the Telangana government, claiming that the State government had failed to supply the quantity of rice as per the agreement. In Vaanakalam 2020-21 season, Telangana was expected to supply 50 lakh tonnes of rice but delivered only 32.66 lakh tonnes. In Yasangi 2020-21 season, it was estimated that 55 lakh tonnes would be supplied but ended up procuring 61.87 lakh tonnes of rice, he replied.
“We agreed to procure up to 94.53 lakh tonnes of rice, as being claimed by the State government. But even today as we speak, 29 lakh tonnes (supply) is pending. I don’t know why this issue is being politicised,” Goyal said. TRS MP KR Suresh Reddy said the Union Minister was casting aspersions on the State with regard to discrepancies in stocks.
He pointed out that the Centre had doubted the quantum of rice grown in Telangana and verified the allocated quota of rice in the State. “On verification, the estimates matched 99.99 per cent. The Centre also had doubts about the extent of area under cultivation of paddy with the Centre estimating it at 58 lakh acres against the actual cultivation area of around 62 lakh acres. In the same breath, they ask us how the paddy cultivation area had gone up so much. It is because, in the last four-five years, there has been tremendous growth in the irrigation sector which resulted in more areas coming under paddy cultivation,” he added.
With regard to procurement of parboiled rice, the Union Minister said that the original target of parboiled rice procurement for Telangana was just 24.75 lakh tonnes. Following a request from the Chief Minister, he said the target had been enhanced to 44.75 lakh tonnes as a one-time measure of which only 27.78 lakh tonnes was supplied. “As of today, 17 lakh tonnes are still pending. They are jumping into the future without supplying what they agreed to supply in the past,” the Union Minister remarked.
When categorically asked about parboiled rice, he cited that as per the undertaking given on October 4, 2021, the State government agreed not to deliver parboiled rice to FCI in future. Earlier, three TRS members trooped into the Well of the House over issues related to the farm sector but returned to their seats following a request by Rajya Sabha Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu.
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