Bhubaneswar: A delegation of BJP MPs from Odisha Wednesday sought the personal intervention of Union Minister for Food and Public Distribution, Piyush Goyal, to resolve the issues of alleged mismanagement and corrupt practises in paddy procurement operations in the state.
The MPs, including Union ministers Dharmendra Pradhan and Ashwini Vaishnaw, met Goyal in New Delhi and submitted a memorandum alleging gross irregularities in the paddy procurement process by the Odisha government.
“We, the public representatives of Odisha, would like to draw your attention over the scuttling of paddy procurement in Odisha by the state government, causing great distress to the farmers,” the MPs said in the memorandum.
Earlier in March, the MPs had written to Goyal, based on which a fact-finding team of senior officials from the Department of Food and Public Distribution (DFPD) was sent to Odisha to oversee the process of paddy procurement.
The observations of the team were serious in nature, pointing out the malice/corrupt and fraudulent practices prevalent in the Regulated Market Committees (RMC), Primary Agriculture Credit Societies (PACS) and Paddy Procurement Centres (PPCs), they said.
The MPs alleged that the issues pointed out by the fact-finding team about shortcomings in paddy procurement operations in Odisha are still persistent and continue to mar the procurement process.
The memorandum also alleged manual filling of weigh-slips, unequal distribution of paddy procured among different millers, unlawful procurement, non-existence of quality control process and non-availability of required infrastructure.
It further alleged that the entire procurement process was found to be miller driven.
It is extremely unfortunate that the government of Odisha is yet to act on the suggestions and recommendations of the Central team, it said.
The MPs requested Goyal to instruct the Odisha government to follow the suggestions/recommendations of the DFPD team.