uniform procurement coverage: Centre follows uniform procurement coverage; can’t take surplus parboiled rice: Meals Secretary

Asserting that it follows a uniform and non-discriminatory procurement coverage, the Centre on Monday stated the Telangana authorities was informed a lot prematurely that the Meals Company of India can’t procure surplus parboiled rice attributable to ample shares coupled with restricted PDS demand for the grain.

Union Meals Secretary Sudhanshu Pandey clarified the Centre’s place on the procurement of parboiled rice after Telangana Chief Minister Ok Chandrashekar Roa staged a protest within the Nationwide Capital and threatened that he would intensify the stir if the state’s demand on the acquisition of parboiled rice just isn’t met inside 24 hours.

Addressing reporters, Pandey stated the Centre doesn’t procure paddy from any state. It solely buys uncooked rice and really much less parboiled rice as per the PDS demand. So, there’s a uniform and non-discriminatory coverage in place for all states.

“Contemplating the provision of surplus parboiled shares with FCI equal to the requirement of 3-4 years at the moment, it was impressed upon all states delivering surplus parboiled rice, as early as in December 2020 to restrict the identical,” he stated.

Once more in August final 12 months, it was determined in a gathering of meals secretaries that no parboiled rice can be accepted from any state for the central pool through the 2021-22 Kharif advertising and marketing season (KMS) in view of burgeoning parboiled inventory with FCI.

As of April 1, 2022, FCI had a inventory of about 40 lakh tonnes of parboiled rice, which can be ample for the requirement of about two years, he stated, including that the Telangana authorities had given in writing that it’s going to not provide parboiled rice to FCI.

Additionally, surplus parboiled inventory can’t be procured from states as there isn’t a demand for such grain beneath the Public Distribution System (PDS), he stated.

In the previous couple of years, Pandey stated manufacturing within the parboiled consuming states like Jharkhand, Kerala and Tamil Nadu has elevated leading to lesser motion of parboiled rice to the deficit states. As a result of elevated manufacturing in parboiled consuming states, the amount of motion has decreased over a interval.

“From Punjab too, the place the procurement of rice is most, we’ve not procured any parboiled rice.”

At the moment, about 20 lakh tonnes of parboiled rice is consumed yearly from FCI shares for fulfilling the necessities beneath Nationwide Meals Safety Act in parboiled deficit states, he stated.

Whereas Telangana is a surplus parboiled producing area and doesn’t eat parboiled rice, however solely produces which is all the time surplus and delivered to FCI, he added.

In accordance with the Secretary, FCI’s complete parboiled rice procurement stood at 88.37 lakh tonnes for Kharif and Rabi mixed in 2020-21. Out of this, 48.85 lakh tonne was procured from Telangana alone, which is greater than 50 per cent of the overall procurement of parboiled rice.

The second-highest was Odisha (17.7 lakh tonne), Chhattisgarh (15.95 lakh tonne), West Bengal and Andhra Pradesh, he stated.

Pandey additional stated the FCI had initially procured 24.5 lakh tonnes of parboiled rice from Telangana final 12 months however later upon the request of the state authorities further portions have been bought by FCI.

“When this particular exemption was given, the state authorities gave in writing that it’s going to provide rice as per the FCI requirement and won’t provide parboiled rice,” he added.

For enterprise procurement of rabi uncooked rice in 2021-22, the Secretary stated the Telangana authorities was requested to offer its procurement and packaging estimate in February 2022 itself. Nevertheless, the state authorities has not but submitted the proposals regardless of a number of reminders.

Explaining the method of procurement, FCI Chairman and Managing Director Atish Chandra stated the FCI has an settlement signed with each state for the procurement of uncooked rice.

Telangana, which is a decentralised procurement state (DCP), has an additional settlement with millers for changing paddy into uncooked rice and parboiled rice.

The Telangana authorities can simply get uncooked rice transformed as a substitute of parboiled rice from millers and provide it to the central pool, he stated and added FCI bears the milling fees and has no downside in taking uncooked rice.

Joint Secretary within the Union Meals Ministry Subodh Kumar stated Andhra Pradesh additionally has the identical agro-climatic situation however it doesn’t have the issue in supplying uncooked rice to the central pool.

In truth, procurement of parboiled rice from Andhra Pradesh was nearly 4.29 lakh tonnes final 12 months, he stated including that Telangana has to make a slight change on the milling stage to transform it into uncooked rice and it’s doable.

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