New Delhi [India], February 6 (ANI): Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel on Friday met Union Food and Public Distribution Minister Piyush Goyal in New Delhi and demanded the increase in the permitted amount of 24 lakh metric tonnes of rice that can be procured under the central pool in Food Corporation of India (FCI) to 40 lakh metric tonnes in the Kharif marketing year 2020-21.
Speaking to media persons after the meeting, Baghel said he will again meet Goel after February 15 to clear some confusion regarding paddy procurement by the Centre.
"Government of India had earlier indicated that they would procure 60 lakh metric tonnes paddy. But due to some confusion procurement didn't go through. I requested another meeting with Piyush Goyal to which he said yes. We'll meet after February 15," says the Chief Minister.
As per an official release, during the meeting, the Baghel said that in the interest of farmers of Chhattisgarh, the Centre should give permission for procurement of 40 lakh metric tonnes of rice in the Food Corporation of India at the earliest as 92 lakh metric tonnes of paddy have been procured from 20.53 lakh farmers on the support price in Chhattisgarh in the Kharif marketing year 2020-21, as on January 31 under the decentralized procurement scheme.
He also said that in-principle consent was given for taking 60 lakh metric tonnes of rice to the central pool for Chhattisgarh, due to which it is possible to resolve about 89 lakh metric tons of paddy currently acquired.
"He (Baghel) maintained that the Food Department has been allowed by the Government of India to take only 24 lakh metric tonnes of rice (16 lakh metric tons of unna and 8 lakh metric tons of arva) under the central pool in the Food Corporation of India in the Kharif year 2020-21. The state's public distribution system will require 20 lakh metric tons of rice and in addition to this, the stock of 3 lakh metric tons of rice will be kept by the civil supplies corporation. In this way, it will be possible to dispose of 70.50 lakh metric tonnes of paddy from 47 lakh metric tonnes of rice which is being acquired," it stated.
The release added that other issues such as approval for using used gunny bags for procurement, pending food subsidies, pending payment of paddy transportation among others, were discussed in the meeting. (ANI)