Chhattisgarh chief minister Bhupesh Baghel on Thursday spoke to Prime Minister Narendra Modi over phone and informed him about the delay in permission for paddy procurement in the Kharif marketing year 2020-21.
A press note issued by the Chhattisgarh government said that PM Modi assured the CM of taking appropriate action in this regard.
On Wednesday, in a letter to PM Modi, CM Baghel had said the Centre had given ‘in-principle approval’ for depositing 60 lakh metric tonnes of rice in the central pool after the custom milling of paddy procured from the farmers of the state in the Kharif marketing season.
“Following the approval, the state government started purchasing paddy on minimum support price (MSP) from December 1 and till now, about 47 lakh tonnes of paddy has been procured from 12 lakh farmers. But necessary permission for delivery of rice after custom milling of the purchased paddy to the FCI for the central pool is still awaited from the Centre’s Food and Public Distribution Department,” the letter stated.
Baghel said that this delay in the process of lifting rice by the FCI affected paddy procurement drive.
“A huge stock of rice has been piled up at procurement centres due to non-lifting of rice for the central pool. Delay in timely disposal of paddy, might lead to damage to the produce,” Baghel said.
He further said that the Centre has agreed to provide only 1.45 lakh new jute gunny bags to the state against the demand of 3.50 lakh jute gunny bags and so far only 1.05 lakh bags have been provided.
In the letter, he urged the Centre to fulfil the demands of the state government so that paddy procurement in the state can continue.
Meanwhile, BJP leaders claimed that the state government is trying to hide the failure in procuring paddy in the state.
“Most of the farmers of the state are suffering in selling their paddy at procurement centres. The government has done nothing for the farmers; they are only making mockery of procurement. Thousands of farmers are not getting a token for paddy selling … They are simply not prepared and failed,” said Sacchinand Upasane, a senior BJP leader and spokesperson.