Tamil Nadu Civil Supplies Corporation (TNCSC) has so far procured three lakh tonnes of samba paddy in Tamil Nadu, said E. V. Velu, state food minister here on Monday.

He inspected the cap storage at Pillaiyarpatti. Later he told presspersons, that daily procurement now is of the order of 7,000 tonnes per day. With the samba harvest touching its peak by February end arrivals per day will touch even 10,000 tonnes. So we hope to achieve the target of 16 lakh tonnes of samba paddy this year, the minister.

Emphasise is also given to procurement in non-delta districts like Kanchipuram, Tiruvannamalai, Krishnagiri and Ramnathapuram also to help farmers in these districts. The cap storage at Pillaiyarpatti near Thanjavur can store 50,000 tonnes of paddy.

At present there is a stock of 7,000 tonnes, the minister said. He also said that private parties procure only one variety of paddy i.e. Bapatla variety. All the important varieties of paddy are procured by TNCSC only.

He said that there is no glut in Direct Purchase Centres. When there is a holiday like Sunday, farmers may have to wait and hence paddy bags to be procured may be more on Monday.

Maximum amount of Rs. 4 lakhs is provided for each DPC to procure paddy. So money is also not a problem, the Minister clarified.

With respect to movement of paddy, adequate railway wagons and lorries are available. He said that 1.87 lakh card holders are getting rupee one a kg rice under Public Distribution System. When pointed out open market price of rice is high, the minister maintained that the price was less this month when compared to last month. He also said that open market price depend upon the quantity of food products produced. When the production is high, prices will come down. When the production is less prices will go up. He said that special PDS under which essential commodities like dhal are supplied will continue as long as DMK Government was in power.

K. Shanmugham, Secretary, Food and Civil Supplies, Government of Tamil Nadu, was present on the occasion.

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