ANDHRA PRADESH

Govt. procurement policy lop-sided: BJP leader

ELURU NOV. 1. The BJP State executive member, P.V.R.S. Varma, on Saturday said the State Government's procurement policy was `lop-sided.

Addressing a press conference here, Mr Varma said the faulty policy led to create a piquant situation where the State was constrained to heavily fall back on Punjab and other states for supply of rice for distribution under PDS, Food-for-Work and other programmes despite plenty of stocks remaining unsold with farmers within the State for want of takers.

The State was presently having a buffer stock of 4.6 lakh MTs which was required for one month only, he said while recalling that the State Government was planning to import rice from other states to overcome the shortage. It was ironic that the paddy farmers failed to find market for the most of their produce last year, he added.

Given the situation on the procurement front, he expressed doubts over the State Government's ability to ensure proper marketing for the paddy in the khariff which was expected to hit the market within a month.

He wanted the State Government to give a face-lift to market yards all over the State and make them fit for sale and storage of paddy stocks and come up with a proposal seeking the Centre to relax the FCI stipulations with respect to procurement enabling millers to buy entire stocks from farmers.

The BJP leader said a majority of market yards were ill-equipped and lacked basic infrastructure like platforms. In certain places like Tanuku, there were no market yards at all, he pointed out. He appealed to the Government for provision of machines for winnowing at market yards as the winnowing through manual operation failed to ensure that the produce was up to the specifications in terms of quality.

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