Piyush Goyal debunks CM KCR's rice claims

Union Minister Piyush Goyal
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Union Minister Piyush Goyal 

Highlights

Rebutting the repeated allegations of Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao that the Centre was doing injustice to the State in procurement of paddy, Union Minister for Food and Public Distribution Piyush Goyal on Thursday said that procurement of rice from Telangana under the central pool had tremendously increased in the last six years

Hyderabad: Rebutting the repeated allegations of Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao that the Centre was doing injustice to the State in procurement of paddy, Union Minister for Food and Public Distribution Piyush Goyal on Thursday said that procurement of rice from Telangana under the central pool had tremendously increased in the last six years. Releasing the correspondence between the State and Centre, the Union Minister said that following a letter by KCR written on October 29, seeking increase in procurement target from 40-lakh million tonnes to 90 LMT during kharif 2021-22, he got the matter examined by the Food Corporation of India.

As per the First Advance Estimates by the Ministry of Agriculture, the area under cultivation for paddy was 16.90 lakh hectare and the rice production has been estimated as 54.27 LMT. Goyal said Telangana Government was requested to reconcile the estimated figure of production and cultivation in consultation with the Directorate of Economics and Statistics in the Union Agriculture Ministry.

In the State Food Secretaries meeting held on August 17 this year, an estimate of procurement of rice was fixed as 40.00 LMT for kharif crop during 2021-22 and period of paddy procurement was fixed as October 21 to January 2022 with milling/ delivery of customed milled rice (CMR) period up to July 2022, the Union Minister said in a statement.

As committed by Telangana, no parboiled rice would be accepted in the central pool during the kharif 2021-22, said Goyal. Instead the entire CMR would be accepted in the form of raw rice.

The Union Minister also said that Telangana had committed to set up a rice bran oil industry in the State and utilize the non-procured rice. The TS government also ensured development of adequate facilities for manufacture of fortified rice kernels and blending capacity of rice mills in the State and facilitate availability of fortified rice to cater to the requirement of the State and of FCI.

The State Government also committed that Telangana would ensure that the stocks are always kept in a countable position along with proper book-keeping and Standard Operating Procedure (SoP).

He said the Centre had extended all possible help to Telangana and had also extended time to deliver custom milled rice five times during rabi 2019-20. He said repeated extensions to the State Government could lead to malpractices by millers. During physical verification in 2019-20 Rabi it was found that a shortage of 25,303 MT of paddy stock was there in Warangal district alone. Following this, it had directed the State to deliver the kharif crop within the stipulated period. It was the State Government that was not following the directions, he added.

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