TS to buy paddy damaged in rain: Harish

Harish accused the Centre of trying to obstruct the state from procuring paddy in the name of inspection of 2,990 rice mills in Telangana

Hyderabad: The state government has promised farmers that it will buy paddy that was damaged from procurement centres due to sudden rains on Wednesday across the state.

Finance minister T. Harish Rao on Thursday informed that the state government has issued directions to collectors of all the districts to make necessary arrangements at procurement centres to ensure the paddy is dried up using paddy cleaners and purchase those paddy stocks as usual for minimum support price (MSP). He urged farmers not to panic as Chief Minister K. Chandrashekar Rao will always come to their rescue.

Chief secretary Somesh Kumar held a meeting with civil supplies department officials on Thursday to take stock of the paddy procurement situation. Speaking to media in Siddipet after visiting a procurement centre where paddy was drenched in rainwater, Harish said officials were asked to provide adequate tarpaulins at all procurement centres to ensure the paddy is protected from rains until the procurement process is completed by mid-June.

Harish accused the BJP-led government at the Centre of hatching a conspiracy to obstruct the state government from procuring paddy in the name of conducting inspection of 2,990 rice mills in Telangana by the Food Corporation of India (FCI). He said the Centre ordered FCI inspections at a time when the paddy procurement in the ongoing rabi season was underway.

Harish said that the FCI inspections were delaying the paddy procurement process in Telangana. "In the name of inspections, FCI officials are halting the unloading of paddy from lorries. The delay in unloading is resulting in a delay in procurement and the paddy is also getting damaged by sudden rains, The BJP government is eventually trying to malign the image of the TRS government for political gain," he alleged.

He said that the FCI inspections saw hundreds of lorries waiting in serpentine queues before the rice mills across Telangana. "Such large scale inspections were never carried out in the past in any parts of the country. This proves that the Centre is trying to create problems in the paddy procurement process," Rao added. Stating that they were not opposing the inspections, the minister has suggested the FCI carry out the inspections after one month when the paddy procurement of rabi was complete.

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