Millers asked to hold discussions with Civil Supplies officials

Government to procure 5.5 to 6 lakh tonnes of rice from open market

Tenders called for supply of 60,000 tonnes to overcome likely shortage in supply

HYDERABAD: After arranging for the sale of common and grade ‘A’ varieties of rice at subsidised prices, the State Government has now decided to supply superfine grade BPT rice at Rs. 18- a-kg shortly.

It has asked the millers to hold discussions with joint collectors and civil supplies officials to see that sales points were opened in all the areas since a large cross-section of people preferred superfine rice. “Millers should make sure that rice is supplied at subsidised prices even if they incur some losses,” Finance Minister K. Rosaiah said.

Rice from market

He was speaking to reporters after attending a meeting of the Cabinet sub-committee constituted on price rise convened by Chief Minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy here on Saturday.

Mr. Rosaiah said it was decided to procure 5.5 to 6 lakh tonnes of rice from the open market to overcome the shortage caused by the cut in the quota by the Central Government.

Tenders had been called for supply of 60,000 tonnes of rice to overcome the likely shortage in the supply to the Rs. 2- a-kg rice scheme, hostels and mid-day meal scheme. The government would pay the cost fixed by the Food Corporation of India and an additional Rs. 10 a quintal for the rice that would be procured from the market.

Payment issue

This, according to Civil Supplies Commissioner Poonam Malakondaiah, would amount to about Rs. 150 crore for every one lakh tonnes of rice procured from the open market.

Mr. Rosaiah said the millers agreed to supply the required quantity of rice immediately but wanted the payments to be made within a week. “We have asked officials to work out the modalities so that millers get reasonable profit,” he said.