Bhubaneswar: Odisha government on Monday defended its centralised token system and said it will ensure transparency in the paddy procurement.
Food Supplies and Consumer Welfare Minister RP Swain said this while making a statement in the Assembly. He said the token is being generated online and sent to the concerned farmers well in advance through registered mobile numbers.
The token list is also available at of the office of the Regional Cooperative Marketing Society (RCMS) and Self-Help Groups (SHGs), the minister said, adding that for the first time this year the token is being generated online without human intervention.
“Details of farmers ready with harvested paddy are being collected from the society secretaries. Then the details are being sorted online and accordingly date of paddy sell is fixed. Every day, small, marginal, medium and big farmers are getting the opportunity to sell their paddy as per the prescribed format,” Swain said.
He said the farmers unable to sell paddy on the stipulated date will get multiple chances to sell their product. “The system will prevent irregularities in token distribution system in the grassroots level,” he said adding that appropriate action will be taken against the millers if they are found purchasing paddy at a lower rate.
The minister also informed the House that by November 24, this year 1,75,558 quintal paddy has been procured from eight districts – Bargarh, Sambalpur, Kalahandi, Subarnapur, Nuapada, Bolangir, Malkangiri, and Koraput.
Earlier, the minister was asked by Speaker S N Patro to make a statement in the House on Monday in view of the opposition members criticizing the centralized token system. They also wanted to know whether the state has two paddy procurement policy, one for the farmers of Hirakud Command area and other for the rest of the state.
However, the minister remained silent on the promises made by Labour Minister Sushant Singh and government deputy chief whip Rohit Pujari to the farmers of Sambalpur and Bargarh districts that the government will procure their paddy even without the online token.