BJD MPs Delegation Meets Union Minister Piyush Goyal, Demands Lifting of Parboiled Rice from Odisha

New Delhi: A delegation of Biju Janata Dal (BJD) MPs from Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha today submitted a memorandum Union Minister for Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution Piyush Goyal demanding that FCI should continue procuring parboiled rice from Odisha.

The BJD delegation informed the Union Minister that in the upcoming KMS (Kharif Marketing Season) 2021-22, Odisha was estimated to procure 52 lakh MT of rice. The State’s own requirement is about 24 lakh MT rice comprising of all the schemes. Thus, a surplus of 28 lakh MT rice would be left with Odisha which would comprise of 4 lakh MT raw rice and 24 lakh MT parboiled rice. Odisha would be left with a surplus of 24 lakh MT of parboiled rice for lifting by Food Corporation of India.

“If the Food Corporation of India does not lift this 24 lakh MT of parboiled rice due to restrictions imposed by the Department of Food and Public Distribution (DFP) then it would severely affect Odisha’s paddy procurement operations as well as cause distress to 10 lakh farmers. These 10 lakh farmers would be in deep distress coupled with the existing pains of the COVID pandemic, the BJD MPs said.

After becoming a Decentralized Procurement (DCP) State in KMS 2003-04, Odisha on behalf of the Government of India is procuring rice milled from paddy. The surplus rice which is left after consumption under NFSA and other welfare schemes of the Odisha Government is delivered to the Food Corporation of India (FCI).

14 lakh farmers have sold 77.33 lakh MT of paddy (equivalent to 52.35 MT of rice) by 10th October, 2021 during KMS 2020- 21 and Rs. 14,444 Crores have been transferred to their bank accounts within 24-48 hours of the purchase of their paddy. This has greatly benefitted the farmers of Odisha as well as strengthened the rural economy more so in the aftermath of COVID pandemic.

The Government of India letter dated 31.8.2021 stated that no surplus parboiled rice shall be accepted from Odisha by the Food Corporation of India for the next Kharif Marketing Season. This has come as bolt from the blue and greatly distressed the lakhs of farmers of Odisha, especially from the western and southern regions of Odisha, the BJD added.

The Union Minister has assured the BJD delegation that he would look into the matter.

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