Rajahmundry: The rice millers of East Godavari decided not to opt for paddy purchases from farmers in the present kharif season to express their resentment over the decision of the Food Corporation of India blacklisting as many as 429 rice mills out of the total 450 levy rice suppliers in the district.
The millers are said to have taken this decision following the FCI’s reluctance to purchase levy rice from the listed millers on the ground that the rice bags supplied by them contained less than the mentioned weight.
The rice milling industry is a major purchaser of paddy produced in the district and also shares bulk of rice supplies to the FCI in the form of levy procurement.
The civil supplies department opted for purchase through network of centres and supply the rice to FCI after custom-milling. The East Godavari District Rice Industry Association president and former state association president Dwarampudi Bhaskara Reddy said that because of the FCI's decision they have decided not to purchase paddy from this season.
“We supply 270 quintal as a lot and at the time of supply the authorities check the correctness of the quantity mentioned. But now after some months they demand reimbursement of the same by September last for which we sought time,” Reddy said.
“But the FCI refused to provide this facility and in turn blacklisted as many as 429 mills and even refused to entertain purchases from these from the new season. But at the same time the civil supplies department was given time for this.
When the FCI did not go for rice procurement, we too decided to stop purchase of paddy from farmers as we cannot pay and stock the rice on our own,” he added.
When contacted, the FCI East Godavari authorities, while acknowledging the decision of extension of time to the civil supplies department, said that the Union civil supplies ministry as per GO MS No. 18, issued orders in this regard.
“On our part we take signature on consignment-wise on the quantity of rice supplied as per the permits issued by civil supplies authorities at the time of accepting rice. The actual quantity supplied is recorded consignment-wise at random and at district-level we have no role to play to refuse procurement," the authorities revealed....