Centre declines to lift surplus rice, says BJD


Bhubaneswar, Jan 18: In another instance of alleged negligence by the Centre towards farmers, the central government has denied to lift sur-plus parboiled rice from Odisha during the current crop year.

 Raising this issue, the ruling RID Monday slammed the Centre, saying the BM government has al-ways worked for the interests and development of farmers and the farming community. However, the policies and practices of the BJP led Union government are becom-ing a major problem for the farm-ers of Odisha.

 Recently, the Centre sent a let-ter stating that they would limit the lifting of parboiled rice to the extent of 50 per cent of the original estimates and would not accept any surplus parboiled rice during rabi season of 2020-21, said BJD leader Rohit Pujari. This anti-farmer de-cision of the Centre will severely af-fect the farmers of Odisha, he said. 

Senior BJD legislator Snehangini Chhuria said a total of 71 lakh MT of paddy was procured in 2019-20. It turned to be 48 lakh MT of rice. Of which, 24 lakh MT was con-sumed by Odisha while 17 lakh MT was procured by Food Corporation of India (FCI) and 7 lakh MT was used under the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana (PMGKAY), she said.

 In 2020-21, 35.49 lakh MT of paddy has been procured so far while an-other 30 lakh MT would be pro-cured totaling 651akh MT of paddy for the current kharif season. In rabi, about 17 lakh MT would be procured. It means a total of 82 Ian MT of paddy procurement will be done for 2020-21, Churia said.

 Out of this, about 55 lakh MT rice would be obtained and almost all of it would be parboiled rice. While 24 lakh MT would be con-sumed in Odisha, about 101akh MT (as per the recent letter from Centre) would be procured by FCI, she said. The BJD leader claimed that the remaining 21 lakh MT rice worth r7350 crore would not be lifted by the Centre. This would adversely affect Odisha, especially its farmers. “We demand that the Centre with-draws this anti-farmer policy of re stricting lifting/evacuation of rice from Odisha and lift the total sur-plus rice of 31 lakh MT from the state,” demanded Churia. 

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