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TS govt-Centre headed for another Rabi paddy procurement showdown


Published on: March 1, 2023 | Updated on: March 1, 2023

The state government is stepping up pressure once more on the issue of procurement. (Representational images: ANI)

Hyderabad: Paddy procurement in the ongoing rabi season is expected to create a fresh round of tussle between the Centre and the Telangana government.

The state government wants the Centre to procure parboiled rice as it expects a record paddy production of 1.50 crore tonnes with paddy sown in a record 54 lakh acres. In this regard officials of the civil supplies department met officials of Union food ministry and Food Corporation of India (FCI) in Delhi on Wednesday seeking them to procure parboiled rice in rabi instead of raw rice.

The Centre stopped procuring parboiled rice from the state from the 2021-22 rabi season. This led to a confrontation between the Centre and the state government with Chief Minister K. Chandrashekar Rao and his entire cabinet sitting on a dharna at Indira Park in November 2021 and also in Delhi in April 2022 demanding the Centre to procure parboiled rice from Telangana in rabi season.

However, the Centre stuck to its decision forcing the state government to supply raw rice instead of parboiled rice. Normally, parboiled rice is produced from paddy cultivated in rabi season due to heat conditions in summer. Rabi season begins with the onset of winter between November and January and harvested between March and June.

If raw rice is produced from rabi paddy, the state government suffers huge losses as nearly 40 kgs of broken rice will come out from one quintal of paddy during milling at rice mills due to summer heat. However, if parboiled rice is produced, there will be wastage of just about 10 kg for every quintal in the form of broken rice.

Against this backdrop, the state government is stepping up pressure once more on the issue of procurement.

Meanwhile, the state government is worried that if the Centre insists on raw rice in rabi, it would face heavy losses due to broken rice. The state government procures paddy from farmers for MSP, to whom it pays MSP, sends paddy stock to rice mills and after milling hands over the rice stock to FCI. Later, the FCI reimburses the MSP amount to the state government.

In case raw rice is produced, the state government will get reimbursement for only 60 kgs for every quintal of paddy.