Odisha CM seeks PM’s help over FCI’s restriction on lifting of par-boiled rice

Bhubaneswar: Stating that the restrictions imposed by the Department of Food and Public Distribution (DFPD) on lifting of par-boiled rice from Odisha will adversely affect paddy procurement operations, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has sought an intervention of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

In a letter, Patnaik mentioned around 10 lakh farmers in Odisha will face serious trouble during the Covid pandemic situation due to the DFPD’s restrictions.

Worth mentioning, on August 31, 2021, the Government of India told Odisha that for the next Kharif Marketing Season (KMS) no surplus parboiled rice shall be accepted from Odisha by the Food Corporation of India.

The Chief Minister stated in the letter the State government has estimated to procure 52 lakh metric tonne of rice in KMS 2021-22. The State’s own requirement of rice under all the schemes is about 24 lakh metric tonne.

It further stated the State will have a surplus of 28 lakh metric tonne of rice, of which only four lakh metric tonne will be raw rice. Hence, the State will have a balance of 24 lakh metric tonne of parboiled rice for evacuation by FCI, which comes under the DFPD.

Raising concerns over the DFPD’s decision Patnaik said the decision has put a question mark on lifting of the surplus rice from Odisha.

“Odisha is primarily a parboiled rice consuming State and historically therefore, Odisha’s rice milling industry overwhelmingly produces parboiled rice. The State is therefore not in a position to face the situation arising due to a paradigm shift in surplus rice delivery profile imposed on the State by DFPD,” the letter read.

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During KMS 2020-21, around 14 lakh famers have sold 77.33 lakh metric tonne of paddy (equivalent to 53.35 metric tonne of rice) to the State government and MSP dues of about Rs 14,444 crore have been transferred to the bank accounts of the farmers within 24 to 48 hours of purchase of paddy, Patnaik mentioned.

Odisha is a decentralized procurement state in the Kharif Marketing Season 2003-04.

The rice milled from the paddy procured from farmers is being used under the National Food Security Act and other welfare schemes of the Government of India and the surplus rice is being delivered to the Food Corporation of India.

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