New Delhi: Piyush Goyal, Union Minister of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution, Commerce and Industry and Textiles has said that the Centre stands committed to buy the excess stocks as per quality standards from Telangana. Speaking on the side-lines of the ongoing Parliament Session, Shri Goyal said that the Telangana Government was misleading farmers of Telengana on the rice procurement issue.
The minister pointed out that in 2014-15, Rs 3391 crore was paid as MSP of paddy to farmers of Telangana. However, in KMS 2020-21, the Union government paid Rs 26,610 crores 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 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 the fact that the Telangana Government that has not yet shared the amount of raw rice that will be provided to the Central Pool during current Rabi crop.
Shri 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.”
Shri Goyal also briefed about the rice procurement process. He said that the Centre procures the rice based on the consumption pattern and demand of various states. The states after procuring the rice, keep stock for domestic consumption of the state and the balance is taken by the Centre.
He showed the copy of the MoU with all the states including Telangana wherein he 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 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 type of rice is 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.’
He mentioned that a meeting was convened by the Secretary, Department of Food & Public Distribution (DFPD) on 25th February, 2022 to discuss rice procurement. All states were asked to fill a particular format. But, Telangana never submitted the form. The minister also informed about another meeting that was chaired by the Joint Secretary (JS) DFPD on 8th March, 2022 wherein Telangana was reminded again to share the details.