Hyderabad: Union minister of consumer affairs, food, and public distribution Piyush Goyal said that the Centre is committed to buying excess stocks of paddy from Telangana. Speaking on the sidelines of the ongoing Parliament session, Mr. Goyal said the Telangana government was misleading the farmers of the state on rice procurement.
The minister pointed out that in 2014-15, Rs. 3,391 crore was paid as MSP of paddy to farmers of Telangana. However, in KMS 2020-21, the Union government paid Rs. 26,610 crore as paddy MSP to the farmers of Telangana. "The Central government stands committed to buy whatever excess stocks are there in Telangana, after their own consumption, in the form of raw rice and as per the quality specified by the Food Corporation of India (FCI), as per the MoU with the Centre, as was committed by the state government in writing to the Union government," he said.
He also underlined that the Telangana government has not yet shared the amount of raw rice that will be provided to the Central pool during the current Rabi crop. Mr. Goyal said, "I feel sorry to inform you that the Centre has been asking Telangana to come forward on this issue and inform how much raw rice they will be giving to the Central pool. They have not provided any details in this regard."
About the rice procurement process, he said that the Centre procures rice based on the consumption pattern and demand of various states. The states after procuring the rice, keep stock for domestic consumption, and the balance is taken by the Centre.
He showed the copy of the MoU with all the states, including Telangana, and highlighted that if the stocks of the rice procured by the state government exceeds its allocation and the TPDS and other welfare schemes, such excess stocks shall be handed over to FCI by the state government.FCI shall have the option to specify whether such excess rice that would be handed over to FCI for the Central pool by the state shall be in the form of raw rice or parboiled rice. To meet the overall consumption requirement of the country under TPDS, OWS and the type of rice are decided clearly based on the consumption pattern. This information has been given to all the states and accordingly, the Telangana government has written a letter to the Centre confirming that they will provide the Centre raw rice as per the demand in the whole country.
The minister said that a meeting was convened by the secretary, department of food and public distribution, on 25 February 2022 to discuss rice procurement. All states were asked to fill out a particular form but Telangana never submitted the form. The minister also informed about another meeting that was chaired by the joint secretary, DFPD, on 8 March wherein Telangana was reminded again to share the details.