TS seeks FCI exemption, says buy rain-hit paddy

Centre\'s non-procurement of paddy caused Rs.1.5K worth losses

Hyderabad: The Centre restarted procurement of rice from July 21, after stopping it for 45 days on June 7, there is no clarity over who would pay for the loss of 10 lakh tonnes of paddy worth Rs 1,500 crore which were badly damaged due to the recent heavy rains.

Millers were demanding that the state government bear this loss while the state is looking at the Centre, seeking permission to allow it to produce boiled rice from the damaged paddy.

The millers stopped the milling process from June 7 after the Centre stopped procurement, though they had received huge paddy stocks from government purchase centres. With no space in the mills, the millers stored the paddy in the open.

The paddy stocks got soaked in the heavy rains and began sprouting.
When the Centre finally allowed the Food Corporation of India (FCI) to restart procurement, the mills relaunched the milling process. The rain-soaked paddy remained unused.

The millers approached the state government to come to their rescue. But the government remained non-committal, stating that if the Centre allowed it to produce boiled rice from the damaged paddy and ensure procurement of boiled rice by FCI, it would take the responsibility else it would suffer a `1,500-crore loss.

Civil supplies minister Gangula Kamalakar said, "We have decided to write a letter to the Centre to allow the state government to produce boiled rice from rain-soaked rice because raw rice cannot be produced from it. The Centre should agree to procure this boiled rice through the FCI.”

Kamalakar said the FCI was insisting on supply of raw rice from the previous rabi season. “It should grant exemption to supply boiled rice produced from rain-soaked paddy," he said.

The minister stated that the state government had suffered huge losses due to Centre's insistence on supplying raw rice from this rabi season unlike earlier when boiled rice was permitted.

In Telangana, mostly boiled rice is produced in mills from paddy grown in the rabi season due to heat conditions prevailing in the summer. If raw rice is produced in rabi like in kharif, it will yield broken rice which FCI the does not take.

In kharif, for every quintal of rice (100 kgs), 65 kg of raw rice is produced but in the rabi season it falls to 32 kgs. The FCI pays the state government for only raw rice and the loss on account of broken rice has to be borne by the state government.

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