'Telangana govt not sticking to paddy commitments'
- Telangana yet to deliver agreed 29 LMT rice during kharif
- It is yet to give 17 LMT of parboiled rice agreed upon
- TS revised its targets from 51.9 LMT to 74.54 LMT, and finally to 94.54 LMT
Hyderabad: Union Minister of Consumer Affairs Piyush Goyal took a dig at the TRS government in Telangana for mixing present with future.
The minister rolled out details on rice procurement from Telangana in response to a question asked by TRS MPs K Keshava Rao and KR Suresh Reddy in Rajya Sabha on Friday. Goyal said that he fails to understand why the procurement of paddy is being politicised in Telangana.
He said Telangana was yet to deliver 29 lakh million tonnes of the agreed quantity of rice during the present kharif season. Similarly, it was yet to give 17 LMT of parboiled rice agreed upon. Without fulfilling its promise, the government was mixing two issues for political gains. Goyal said that the rice procurement for the Central pools has gone up from 443 LMT in 2018-19 to 518 LMT and to 600 LMT during 2021. It shows the track record of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government acting responsibly for the welfare of the farmers. The MSP and procurement had gone up, he clarified.
Regarding Telangana, he said the Centre has agreed to procure 94.54 LMT after the State government revised its targets twice from 51.9 LMT to 74.54 LMT, and finally to 94.54.
However, during the Kharif Market Season-2021, the Telangana state could give only 32.66 LMT as against the agreed 50 LMT to the Central poll. During rabi, the estimation was pegged at 55 LMT. But they are saying that the State had procured 61.87 LMT. Despite failing to give agreed quantities of rice to the Centre, the issue was being given a political colour, said Piyush Goyal.
He highlighted discrepancies found in maintaining stocks during the physical verification in Telangana. Telangana had taken five extensions to complete the procurement process.
On parboiled rice, Telangana had initially given a target of 24.75 LMT. Later, on its request, the same was increased to 44.75 LMT. But, to date, Telangana could give only 27.78 LMT as against the agreed 44.75 LMT. It has still to give 17 LMT of parboiled rice to the Centre.
Reminding that Telangana had entered into a gentleman's agreement not to supply parboiled rice in future to the FCI, Piyush Goyal said, it was the same for all the States. The Centre can buy what people eat but it cannot force-feed people what they do not eat, he added.