Taking the paddy battle between the state and the Centre forward, Union minister from Telangana, G. Kishan Reddy, told reporters in New Delhi on Wednesday that the FCI officers conducted inspections on March 31 this year on 40 randomly selected rice mills in Telangana and found 4,53,896 bags of rice missing from them. (DC FIle)
HYDERABAD: The Centre has asked the Telangana government to explain how as many as 4,53,896 bags of rice have gone missing from 40 rice mills in the state. It has also instructed Food Corporation of India (FCI) officials to conduct surprise inspections on the rest of the 2,430 raw rice mills in Telangana to determine how widespread the ‘missing rice’ problem is in the state.
Taking the paddy battle between the state and the Centre forward, Union minister from Telangana, G. Kishan Reddy, told reporters in New Delhi on Wednesday that the FCI officers conducted inspections on March 31 this year on 40 randomly selected rice mills in Telangana and found 4,53,896 bags of rice missing from them. It was the state’s responsibility to account for rice holdings with millers as it was the state government that entered into agreement with millers. The Centre, however, paid rent to millers for holding the rice until the state supplied rice to the FCI, Kishan Reddy said.
The Telangana government, he said, must explain where the missing rice bags were. "As soon as these discrepancies were noticed, the state government was notified and a reply is awaited from it. What happened to this missing rice? Was it exported or sold elsewhere with the millers hoping to fill the gaps with rice milled from the current crop of paddy?" Kishan Reddy asked.
Telangana must take strict action and the Centre must be informed about what happened with the missing rice, he said. He also took the state government to task for being unprepared for paddy procurement. It said it would supply 40 lakh tonnes of rice to the FCI. This means Telangana requires 15 crore gunny bags, but does not even have one crore of them on hand. No step has been taken for procurement at market yards. They lack weighing equipment, tarpaulin sheets to protect paddy brought by farmers in case of rains, and not enough measuring equipment for checking moisture content in the paddy. "The Centre is ready to accept the 40 lakh tonnes the state said it would supply. The question is whether the state is prepared to even procure this amount of rice?" Kishan Reddy said.