Paddy Procurement: No Genuine Farmer Will Be Left Out, Says Minister

Bhubaneswar: While maintaining that the government is taking all measures for smooth procurement of Kharif paddy, Food Supplies & Consumer Welfare Minister Ranendra Pratap Swain requested MLAs to provide a list if any eligible farmer has been deprived of selling his/her paddy at the mandi.

And upon enquiry paddy will be procured in suitable cases, Swain added while making a statement in the Odisha Assembly over alleged Mandi mismanagement.

The Minister gave the statement following a ruling by Speaker Surjya Narayan Patro asking him to issue a statement over the issue by the end of the day.

The Minister informed that a slew of steps have been taken for procurement of paddy from genuine registered farmers and action against bogus farmers and middlemen after the statement by Parliamentary Affairs Minister on February 26.

Swain said that while on February 26 a total of 57.67 lakh metric ton paddy was procured from 10.53 lakh registered farmers, till date 60.40 lakh metric ton paddy has been procured from 11.25 lakh registered farmers, which means 2.73 lakh metric ton paddy has been procured from over 72,000 farmers.

He said officials of Cooperation and Food Supplies departments have been directed to identify genuine farmers and procure paddy from them.

The Minister stated that field officials have been directed to take stringent action against bogus farmers and traders.

Field officials have been directed to conduct enquiries into lapse of validity of tokens on the 2nd of this month, he added.

Worth mentioning, the second phase of the Odisha Assembly started on a stormy note today with the Opposition creating a ruckus over the Mandi mismanagement.

The issue of paddy procurement was raised by the Opposition leading to repeated adjournment of the House.

Opposition BJP and Congress alleged that the state government has betrayed the House and the farmers.