Bhubaneswar: The state government has once again urged the Centre for release of long-pending subsidy bills towards paddy procurement in the state. The Centre is required to provide subsidies worth Rs 4272.27 crore to Odisha by the end of March 2020.
Food Supplies & Consumer Welfare Minister Ranendra Pratap Swain has written a letter to his counterpart at the Centre, Ram Vilas Paswan, in this regard.
Swain mentioned in the letter that in the current Kharif marketing season 2019-20, more than 30 lakh tonne paddy has been procured and Rs 5,400 crore towards MSP (minimum support price) has been transferred to the bank accounts of farmers.
The Union government has released subsidy of only Rs 1434.90 crore against the state government’s claim of Rs 4307.17 crore for the quarter ending December, 2019. The state is yet to get subsidy of Rs 2872.27 crore from Centre for the financial year 2019-20 (up to December). Besides, the Centre has to release advance subsidy of Rs 1,400 crore for the quarter ending March 2020.
As per MoU signed between state and Centre, advance subsidy is to be released in the first month of each quarter. However, no such subsidy has been released during the entire FY 2019-20, Swain wrote to Paswan.
“Non-release of timely subsidy by Centre has landed the Odisha State Civil Supplies Corporation (OSCSC) in a serious financial crunch and further procurement and payment of dues to the farmers will be severely hampered,” Swain said.
The minister requested Paswan for personal intervention towards release of the pending subsidy due to the state and release of advance subsidy for the quarter ending March, 2020 at the earliest.
“Since all the resources including sanctioned limit of bank finance have already been exhausted, further paddy procurement from the farmers may be severely affected, if the subsidy from Union government is not received at the earliest,” he added.
Earlier, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik and Swain had also written letters to the Centre over the issue.