The Centre has refused to extend Telangana’s deadline for milling paddy and sending custom-milled rice to the Central pool from the 2021-22 kharif season. It did, however, prolong the milling date for rabi paddy from that year.
It requested that the State government increase milling capacity to keep up with increased procurement and provide a plan of action in this regard.
The Union Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food, and Public Distribution stated in two separate letters to the State Government that it has granted ‘adequate extensions’ for the milling of backlog stocks from 2021-22 for delivery to the Food Corporation of India.
‘The State Government’s request for further milling period extension cannot be granted,’ the ministry letter stated.
Last year, the state was left with almost 50 lakh tonnes of unmilled paddy when the FCI stopped taking rice due to irregularities in the milling system. After the FCI relaxed the curbs, milling resumed after a six-week pause. The cascade effect resulted in massive backlogs.
So far, the state has contributed 44.40 lakh tonnes of rice to the Central pool for the kharif season 2021-22, leaving a balance of 2.64 lakh tonnes.
So far, the State has delivered 24.80 lakh tonnes for the 2021-22 rabi season, leaving a balance of 9.26 lakh tonnes.
Rabi milling deadline has been extended
The ministry said in a separate letter that the deadline for milling and delivering paddy from the 2021-22 rabi season has been extended until April 30, 2023.
‘This will be the State’s final opportunity to deliver rice to the Central Pool.’ ‘There will be no additional extensions,’ it warned.
It also requested that the State Government investigate rice recycling (PDS rice returning to the Central pool through dubious market operations).
It requested that the FCI thoroughly monitor the delivery of balance rice on time and conduct a ‘age test’ on the provided rice to ensure that no malpractices occurred.