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Paddy Procurement: Odisha Minister Rejects Opposition Charges


19 November 2019

Debashish Maharana


Bhubaneswar: Odisha Food Supplies & Consumer Welfare, Cooperation Minister Ranendra Pratap Swain today rejected charges of the  opposition that the State government has totally failed in the procurement of paddy.

Replying to an adjournment motion titled 'Government has completely failed in paddy procurement in the State' moved by Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) members Jayanarayan Mishra, Mukesh Mahaling and Shankar Oram, the Minister said that motion moved by the members is not based on facts.

Giving details of the Paddy Procurement Policy for the current 2019-20 and arrangements made, the Minister informed the House that district administration/procurement agencies are taking adequate measures to prevent distress sale of paddy.

He said paddy procurement for the Kharif season has taken off in western Odisha districts of Bargarh, Sambalpur, etc. and will take place in other districts in accordance with harvesting time.

"As of now, message through SMS has been sent to 20,738 farmers of Bargarh, Kalahandi, Sambalpur, Subarnapur, Nuapada, and Bolangir districts to remain present with a total 15,06,375 quintal paddy on the specified date at the specified mandi. SMS has been sent to the registered mobile number of the registered farmers well in advance before paddy procurement. List of the advance token is also available at the offices of procurement societies/Women SHGs. Farmers can also collect tokens as per the SMS from society/Block Development offices and bring their paddy to mandis for procurement," the Swain told the House.

He said that for the first time in the current year, process for issue of tokens has been freed from human intervention; it is being done through fully computerized system.

Swain stated that the token system has been introduced in the interest of the farmers and added that it will streamline sale-purchase at the mandis while freeing farmers from uncertainty and apprehensions.

The Minister said that the State government has taken steps to make paddy procurement technology-driven, transparent, timely, accountable and effective and disciplined.

Not satisfied with the Minister's reply BJP members staged a walkout.