Bhubaneswar: Biju Janata Dal (BJD) MPs from Odisha on Wednesday urged Union Minister Piyush Goyal to direct FCI for lifting of surplus parboiled rice from Odisha during upcoming kharif marketing season (KMS) 2021-22.
A delegation of BJD Parliamentary Party, including its leader in Lok Sabha Pinaki Misra and Rajya Sabha Prasanna Acharya, met Goyal in New Delhi and submitted a memorandum in this regard.
In the memorandum, the BJD MPs said 14 lakh farmers have sold 77.33 lakh metric tonne (MT) of paddy (equivalent to 52.35 MT of rice) by October 10, 2021 during KMS 2020- 21 and Rs 14,444 crore has been transferred to their bank accounts within 24-48 hours of the purchase of their paddy.
However, the government of India through its letter (dated 31.8.2021) informed that no surplus parboiled rice shall be accepted from Odisha by the Food Corporation of India (FCI) for the next KMS, it said.
“This has come as a bolt from the blue and greatly distressed the lakhs of farmers of Odisha, especially from the western and southern regions of Odisha,” read the memo.
Stating that Odisha was estimated to procure 52 lakh MT of rice in the upcoming KMS, the MPs said the state’s own requirement is about 24 lakh MT rice comprising all the schemes. Thus, a surplus of 28 lakh MT rice would be left with Odisha which would comprise 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 the FCI. If the FCI does not lift this 24 lakh MT of parboiled rice due to restrictions imposed by the Department of Food and Public Distribution (DFPD) then it would severely affect Odisha’s paddy procurement operations as well as cause distress to 10 lakh farmers, they said.
If this surplus parboiled rice is not lifted by FCI from Odisha, it would cause immeasurable pain and distress to 10 lakh farmers of the State and their families, they pointed out.
“We as public representatives of the people of Odisha and especially on behalf of 10 lakh farmers of Odisha and their families, demand that the DFPD should direct the FCI to accept and lift the 24 lakh MT of surplus parboiled rice from Odisha for the next kharif marketing season,” the BJD parliamentarians demanded.