Raipur: Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel has written letter to Union Minister of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution Ramvilas Paswan, requesting permission for Food Corporation of India to procure 32 lakh metric tons of rice in kharif year 2019-20 under central pool, under National Food Security Act, in the larger interest of farmers.
Last year, Food Corporation of India was given permission to procure 24 lakh metric tons of rice. Chief Minister stated in the letter that in kharif year 2019-20, procurement of 85 lakh metric tons of paddy at support price is expected. Out of 57.37 lakh metric tons of rice produced after custom milling, 25.40 lakh will be procured for PDS requirement of the state (Central 15.48 lakh metric ton, State Pool 9.92 lakh metric ton) and nearly 32 lakh metric tons of surplus rice will be made available for central pool of FCI.
Baghel requested Food Minister to extend the approved procurement limit for usna rice from 24 lakh metric tons to 28 lakh metric tons and that for arwa rice from 4 lakh metric tons. Chief Minister stated in the letter that necessary preparations for procurement of paddy at support price from farmers in upcoming kharif year 2019-20 have begun in Chhattisgarh state. For this, registration of farmers is in process.
In the letter sent to Government of India on July 5, 2019, Chief Minister had requested hike in support price to Rs 2500 per quintal in kharif year 2019-20, in larger interest of farmers of the state, and if because of any circumstances, Government of India is unable to hike the support price as per the request, then State Government should be given permission to procure paddy at that price under decentralized foodgrain procurement scheme.
Also, keeping in view the greater financial interest of farmers in the state, Chief Minister had requested slackening of the conditions under section-1 of the MoU to approve inclusion of the rice procured (after meeting the requirement of PDS) into the central pool. It was also brought into notice that in previous years as wel, surplus rice was included in central pooll by FCI in each kharif season.
This helped in procurement of paddy from farmers of remote areas at support price. Like previous years, this year also Chhattisgarh is interested in contributing rice to the central pool for NFSA in kharif year 2019-20. Chief Minister requested Union Minister to consider his request on compassionate note, keeping in view the larger interest of farmers, and provide permission for procurement of 32 lakh metric tons of rice in FCI in kharif year 2019-20 for meeting the requirement under NFSA, and issue necessary guidelines for the same.