K V Kurmanath | Hyderabad, May 9: |
Procurement process tardy; pay compensation for crop losses: Farmers’ unions
The Telangana Government has procured 8 lakh tonnes of paddy in the Rabi season so far from about 76,500 farmers.
“We have opened 5,200 procurement centres in 30 districts and spent ₹1,483 crore for the procurement of 7.60 lakh tonnes,” the Civil Supplies Department officcial said.
The State Government procured 1.41 lakh tonnes of paddy worth ₹26,000 crore last year in the two seasons. Of this, 92.34 lakh tonnes were procured in the Rabi season.
Of the 7.60 lakh tonnes of paddy procured so far, the officials shifted 7 lakh tonnes to various mills for processing.
Unlike last season, when it supplied parboiled rice to the Food Corporation of India (FCI), the State Government will provide raw rice in the Kharif season after the Centre refused to accept parboiled rice.
The millers, however, are clueless about the compensation that the State government would pay for milling the highly brittle grain.
The Rabi paddy turns brittle due to excessive heat in March and April, giving a lesser quantity of rice. The millers are demanding a compensation of ₹300 for a quintal of paddy.
The State Government has appointed the Somesh Kumar panel, the Chief Secretary, to discuss the financial repercussions of the decision to supply raw rice (instead of parboiled rice).
“We are awaiting an announcement on the compensation component,” a miller from Suryapet has said.
Meanwhile, the farmers’ unions have demanded the State Government pay compensation for the crop loss due to untimely rains last week.
“Several parts of the State were hit by heavy rains on May 4. The farmers faced huge losses as the harvested produce parked in the fields and shifted to market yards was completely damaged,” S Malla Reddy, Vice-President of All-India Kisan Sabha (AIKS), said.
“Paddy, mango, chillies and maize farmers suffered heavily due to the untimely rains. The Government is yet to make any statement on providing relief,” he said.
The Telangana Rythu Sangham flayed the State Government for not coming to the rescue of farmers that quit paddy and went for alternative crops, following its advisory.
“The paddy area is cut down by 20 lakh acres in the season, following the State Government’s advice to shun paddy and go for alternative crops in the Rabi season,” T Sagar, Secretary of Telangana Rythu Sangham, said.
The farmers’ unions have alleged that the procurement process has begun late and is hapenning very slowly.