The Kerala Cabinet on Monday decided to hike the procurement price for paddy from Rs.18 to Rs.19 a kg.

The one-rupee hike will be applicable for paddy already procured during the current season for which payments have not been made.

Chief Minister Oommen Chandy told the media after a special Cabinet meeting that the Centre was offering a procurement price of Rs.13.10 a kg for paddy. The State had been providing a subsidy of Rs.4.90 a kg over that. Now, this subsidy component would be Rs.5.90 a kg.

FACT package

The Chief Minister said the State had sought a special package from the Centre for the Fertilisers and Chemicals Travancore (FACT) in Kochi. The Centre had sought some tax concessions from the State government for the company and the Cabinet had decided to consider the matter favourably.

KMML

The government would take over 150 acres in the vicinity of Kerala Minerals and Metals Ltd (KMML) , Chavara, Kollam, and hand it over to Kinfra and SIDCO for setting up industrial parks and other developmental projects. The owners of the land had sought government acquisition of the land (because of pollution problems) and sufficient compensation would be given to them.

Mr. Chandy said that the next meeting of the Cabinet would decide on government takeover of the Cooperative Medical College at Pariyaram, Kannur district. It discussed the report of the Collector in this regard and sought certain clarifications from the Additional Chief Secretary (Finance) on a couple of issues. A final decision would be taken on the basis of his response. A package for the cash-starved KSRTC was also under consideration of the Cabinet.

Medical insurance

The Chief Minister said the medical insurance scheme introduced for police personnel in the State would be extended to staff of the Jail and the Fire and Rescue Services departments. The current reimbursement scheme will continue for the family members of the police personnel.

The Cabinet sanctioned posts and other facilities for the proposed women police stations at Kannur, Malappuram, Thrissur Rural, Kottayam, Alappuzha and Kollam.

Seat allocation

Mr. Chandy said the issues in the UDF over seat allocation for the Lok Sabha elections would be resolved soon. “Just wait a little,” Mr. Chandy said adding that the ruling front was united and relations among the constituents were good.

On the IPS Officers’ Association complaining about the recent reshuffle of police officers, he said that the association was free to present its views.

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