Hyderabad: In a major reprieve to the Telangana government and state farmers, the Central government has agreed to procure an additional eight lakh tonnes of fortified parboiled rice from Telangana in addition to the 6.05 lakh tonnes that have already been approved.
The rice will be milled from the paddy stocks that were procured from farmers during the rabi season (2021-22), which are currently languishing in rice mills and damaged as a result of recent incessant rains.
It may be noted that the central government had refused to procure parboiled rice produced in rabi season from any state, including Telangana. Consequently, the Telangana government has agreed to supply raw rice. However, raw rice could not be produced from the paddy stocks that got damaged due to recent rains.
The state government sought permission from the Central government to give an exemption and allow it to produce raw rice from damaged paddy stocks to save the state government from suffering losses.
The Centre responded favourably and accepted Telangana's offer to supply parboiled rice as a one-time exemption. The department of food and public distribution under the Union ministry of consumer affairs, food and public distribution issued orders to this effect.
Union tourism minister G. Kishan Reddy hailed the Centre’s decision and remarked that it reflects the 'pro-farmer' policies of the BJP government. Reddy asserted that the BJP government opted to purchase parboiled rice stocks from Telangana despite the Centre having adequate parboiled rice stocks in FCI godowns to meet needs for the next three years in order to safeguard farmers' interests and prevent losses....