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Telangana decided to purchase paddy, set up committee to assess state’s financial burden

Telangana decided to purchase paddy, set up committee to assess state's financial burden

Telangana decided to purchase paddy and set up a committee to assess the state’s financial burden.

Telangana’s government has decided to purchase the paddy harvested during the present Rabi season, putting an end to weeks of speculation and uncertainty.

The decision follows the Union Government’s refusal to procure parboiled rice, claiming that the State had previously ‘agreed in writing’ to supply white rice instead of parboiled rice. The K Chandrashekar Rao government’s action coincides with the start of harvesting by farmers. The Telangana Cabinet discussed the issue on Tuesday and decided to purchase the paddy.

Also Read | KCR gives PM Modi 24-hour deadline on paddy, warns “don’t mess up with farmers”.

The Telangana Chief Minister made the announcement following a Cabinet meeting here on Tuesday, saying a four-member committee led by Chief Secretary Somesh Kumar has been formed to assess the state’s financial burden. The committee’s other members are Secretaries of Agriculture, Irrigation, and Finance.

The state has grown paddy on 36 lakh acres, with an estimated output of 84 lakh tonnes (56 lakh tonnes of rice).
‘Farmers have reduced their paddy area from 55 lakh acres last year to 36 lakh acres this year in response to our appeals,’ the Chief Minister said.

Monetary Burden

The state will bear an additional burden of approximately ₹2,000-2,500 crore. The State spent approximately ₹17,000 crore on paddy procurement during the rabi season of 2021.

The Chief Minister blamed the Union Government for not rescuing the farmers, claiming that the rabi paddy yielded less rice because the percentage of broken rice was higher due to extremely high temperatures.

‘They must bear the cost of broken rice.’ While Kharif paddy yields approximately 67 kg of rice, rabi rice yields approximately 35 kg. We have decided to bear the additional costs because the Union Government has refused to shoulder this burden,’ he said.

Also Read | Problem of paddy procurement in Telangana taken a political turn.

The Centre informed Telangana that obtaining parboiled rice would be difficult because the rice variety was consumed by only two states and the Food Corporation of India (FCI) had stocks for more than two years. In a press conference on Monday, Food Secretary Sundanshu Pandey questioned why Telangana had a higher percentage of broken rice while Odisha and Andhra Pradesh, which share the same agro-climate, had no such complaints.

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