Bhubaneswar: Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has asked the Centre to instruct the Food and Public Distribution department to immediately fix provisional incidental costs for paddy procurement in the state.
“I would request you to kindly instruct the Department of Food and Public Distribution to fix the provisional incidental costs at a reasonable level, may be equal to the last years, to facilitate smooth procurement of paddy in the state,” Patnaik wrote to Ram Vilas Paswan, Minister of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution.
Stating that the level of paddy procurement has reached 52 lakh tonne in 2016-17 from only 0.60 lakh tonne of paddy in 2003-04, Patnaik said the state government had ensured that the farmers got the minimum support price.
However, Patnaik said though the state was almost at the fag end of paddy procurement for Kharif 2017-18, the government had not been able to pay incidental costs to the farmers.
The reason is that the Government of India has fixed rates at an extremely low level compared to the market rates, which is not acceptable to the state, he said in the letter.
“I have been informed that such low rates have been fixed indexation on the last finalised accounts i.e of the year 2003-04. The Government of Odisha has already submitted the accounts up to the year 2015-16.
“However, you would appreciate that the finalisation of accounts is a time consuming process and revision of incidental at a reasonable level should not be contingent to the finalisation of up-to-date accounts,” Patnaik said.
He said “If we do not pay the incidentals at the earliest there is possibility of disruption in the Rabi paddy procurement.”