Bhubaneswar: During Zero Hour of the Budget Session in the Parliament, Biju Janata Dal (BJD) MPs today raised the issue of non-procurement of surplus parboiled rice from Odisha by Food Corporation of India (FCI).
Reinterring the state’s demand, BJD Rajya Sabha members Prasanna Acharya, Amar Patnaik, Sasmit Patra and Prashanta Nanda said the Centre should immediately start lifting surplus parboiled rice from Odisha which it has stopped arbitrarily. They stressed that the action of not lifting surplus parboiled rice would severely affect farmers of the state.
Addressing the House, MP Prasanna Acharya said Odisha, after becoming a Decentralized Procurement (DCP) state in KMS 2003-04, has been procuring rice from millers on behalf of the Centre. The surplus rice which is left after consumption under National Food Security Act (NFSA) and other welfare schemes of the state Government is delivered to FCI.
People of Odisha consume parboiled rice. Around 95 per cent of rice produced in Odisha is parboiled rice. And in the Kharif Marketing Season (KMS) 2021-22, our estimated procurement of rice is about 52 lakh MT . The state’s own consumption will be 30 lakh MT under NFSA, State Food Security Scheme and other welfare schemes. Thus, we have a surplus of 20 lakh MT parboiled rice.
“But unfortunately, the FCI this year has refused to lift any parboiled rice in the current year 2021-21. Target has been issued to lift only 5 lakh MT parboiled rice and 2 lakh MT raw rice. As a result, Odisha has been left with Rs 15 lakh MT surplus rice. So what should it do with the rice?,” he questioned requesting the Minister concerned to consider the matter and direct FCI to lift all the surplus parboiled rice from Odisha.
The Parliamentarian also urged the Central Government to release the dues of food procurement and the outstanding subsidy amount as early as possible.
Earlier on October 8, a delegation of BJD MPs had met Union Minister for Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution Piyush Goyal in New Delhi and submitted a memorandum urging him to ensure that Food Corporation of India (FCI) continue procuring surplus parboiled rice from Odisha for the next KMS 2021-22.