Central team found discrepancies in maintenance of stocks: Goyal

Food and Public Distribution Minister Piyush Goyal informed the Rajya Sabha on Friday in response to a question raised by TRS MP K. Keshava Rao that a Central team had carried out physical inspection of paddy procurement in the State and found a number of discrepancies in maintenance of stocks.

There was mismatch between projections of supplies to the FCI made by the State government and the actuals. In kharif of 2020-21, the targeted supply was 50 lakh tonnes but it gave only 32.66 lakh tonnes. In rabi for the same period, the agreement was to supply 24 lakh tonnes of boiled rice, which was subsequently raised to 44 lakh tonnes. But, the government has so far given only 27 lakh tonnes and another 17 lakh tonnes were still pending.

Mr. Goyal said that the government had furnished a letter on October 4 assuring that it will not send boiled rice to FCI under any circumstances in future. The letter was in response to the Centre’s insistence that it will not buy boiled rice in future after 2020-21. The Centre agreed to lift 44 lakh tonnes of boiled rice for that year in rabi as a one time relief to the State at its request. If some more quantity of boiled rice was left in the State after 44 lakh tonnes was exhausted, the Centre agreed to purchase even that for the specific year. But, now the government was creating ruckus talking about future.

The Centre had extended the deadline for supply of rice to FCI for 2020-21 by five times, yet the 17 lakh tonnes remained to be sent. Instead of meeting the target for kharif as finalised for 2021-22, the government was now doing nothing but politics by again raising the demand for boiled rice.

The Minister expressed dismay that the State government created politics in the matter of rice procurement. The Centre was carrying on procurement for decades and there was nothing new to the process.

He said the Centre’s decision to buy entire quantity of rice generated in the State only in kharif was also conveyed to Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao when they met personally. As elsewhere in the country, the procurement of rice in Telangana was also increased every year. The procurement went up from 51.9 lakh tonnes in 2018-19 to 74 lakh tonnes in 2019-20 and 94 lakh tonnes in 2020-21.

He recalled that the Centre had not rejected a single request of State in the matter of rice procurement in the past. Not satisfied by the Minister’s reply, the TRS staged a walkout in the House.

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Printable version | Jan 26, 2022 2:44:02 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Hyderabad/central-team-found-discrepancies-in-maintenance-of-stocks-goyal/article37832391.ece

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