Bhubaneswar: A delegation of Biju Janata Dal’s Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha MPs Monday met Union Minister of Food and Civil Supplies Piyush Goyal to discuss issues regarding paddy procurement and pending subsidy.
The BJD MPs urged the Union Minister to take immediate steps to expedite paddy evacuation process and release of subsidy.
In a memorandum, the MPs have stated that the Odisha State Civil Supplies Corporation (OSCSC) has already borrowed a whooping Rs 19,000 crore to run the paddy procurement programme by way of upfront investment. The OSCSC is the agency that performs paddy procurement in the state.
The high volume of the bank loan is due to the Department of Food and Public Distribution, Government of India not releasing the pending subsidy.
The other issue that the MPs have raised is paddy procurement.
They have mentioned that Odisha’s own consumption of rice under PDS and other welfare schemes comes around 24 lakh MT. In the current Kharif Marketing Season (KMS), FCI is to evacuate 30 lakh MT from the state. Whereas, it has evacuated 6.65 LMT till March 13, 2021.
On the other hand, the movement plan for the month of March has been reduced substantially. At this pace, the surplus 30 LMT of rice cannot be evacuated which will hamper ensuing Rabi procurement and the next Kharif procurement.
Union Minister Piyush Goyal has assured the MPs saying that he will take the issues up with the government and ensure that Odisha’s just demands are fulfilled.