HYDERABAD: Chief Minister K. Chandrashekar Rao on Monday made it clear that the state government would not procure paddy from farmers in rabi season henceforth citing Centre's refusal to procure parboiled rice from Telangana from this rabi season.
Rao made it clear that the state government would not set up paddy purchase centres in rabi season as was being done all these years and the decision to this effect was taken in the Cabinet meeting held on Monday.
He asked farmers to sow paddy only if they had purchase agreements with seed companies or rice millers or for their own consumption. "We have taken a decision in the Cabinet meeting held today (Monday) not to set up purchase centres in rabi to procure paddy from farmers in Telangana. Since the Centre has categorically made it clear to us that it will not purchase parboiled rice from Telangana in rabi, we have decided to stop paddy procurement in rabi this year,” he said.
“This is because parboiled rice comes from paddy sown in rabi in Telangana. What will we do with paddy stocks procured from farmers in rabi? We will suffer huge losses. We already suffered Rs 10,000 crore loss due to procurement of paddy and maize last year. The Centre failed to even fulfil the commitment it had made to Telangana during last rabi. Over 5 lakh tonnes of rice stocks of last rabi are still lying in rice mills. For these reasons, we have decided to stop paddy procurement in rabi," Rao said while addressing a press conference at Pragathi Bhavan on Monday to brief the details of the Cabinet meeting.
However, the Chief Minister said that the state government would procure paddy from farmers produced in the recent kharif season.
"Food Corporation of India officials informed that they would procure 40 lakh tonnes of rice that will be produced in the kharif this year. We have sought an increase in quota since we expect 90 lakh tonnes of paddy production in kharif this year. But there is no response from the Centre. If they refuse to take, we will throw rice stocks in front of Prime Minister's residence and office in Delhi, union minister Kishan Reddy's house and also at India Gate in Delhi. Let another Rs 200 crore go waste for transportation of rice stocks to Delhi. But we will lodge our protest," Rao remarked.
He alleged that union food minister Piyush Goyal insulted and humiliated Telangana ministers' delegation as well as officials from state’ when they went to Delhi recently to meet him to discuss paddy issue.
Rao alleged that Goyal asked the Telangana delegation if they did not have any other work except talking about paddy procurement and also asked whether it was necessary that these many ministers and officials came repeatedly to Delhi to meet him to discuss the paddy issue.
Rao lashed out at the Centre for not revealing annual procurement quota from Telangana despite repeated requests. "They have refused to procure paddy in rabi. They have also refused to clarify how much quantity of paddy they want to procure in this kharif. They also refused to reveal the annual procurement quota for Telangana," the Chief Minister added.