BJD MPs Meet Union Minister Piyush Goyal Over Pending Subsidy Release, Paddy Procurement Issues

Bhubaneswar: A delegation of the Biju Janata Dal (BJD) MPs from Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha today met the Union Food & Civil Supplies Minister Piyush Goyal and put forth the demand for payment of pending subsidy and expediting paddy evacuation.

The delegation apprised the Union Minister that Odisha State Civil Supplies Corporation (OSCSC), the agency which performs paddy procurement has so far borrowed a staggering sum of Rs 19,000 crore to run the paddy procurement programme by way of upfront investment.

This high volume of bank loan is mainly due to non-release of subsidy by Department of Food and Public Distribution, Government of India (GOI).

The delegation told the Union Minister that OSCSC has pending subsidy claims towards provisional and advance subsidy totaling Rs 5,616 crore from 2014-15 to 2021-22 as on March 10.

“All resources including sanctioned limit of bank finances has been exhausted by OSCSC. Non-release of subsidy in time leads to a huge interest burden on the OSCSC. As on date, we have already suffered a cumulative loss of about Rs 1721.16 crore due to delay in the release of subsidy.  Government of India has refused to bear this burden,” the delegation pointed out.

The delegation apprised the Union Minister that Odisha’s own consumption under PDS and other welfare schemes currently comes to around 24 lakh MT of rice.

The estimated surplus that needs to be evacuated by FCI from the State in the current Kharif Marketing Season (KMS) would be in the range of 30 lakh MT and till March 13 this year, FCI has evacuated 6.65 lakh MT of rice.

On the other hand, the movement plan for the month of March 2021 has been reduced substantially. At this pace, the surplus 30 Lakh MT of rice cannot be evacuated by the start of the next KMS or till the start of the next calendar year also, which will greatly hamper the ensuing Rabi procurement and the next Kharif procurement.

Goyal assured that he will take it up with the Government and ensure that Odisha’s just demands are fulfilled.