BHUBANESWAR: Food Supplies and Consumer Welfare Minister Niranjan Pujari on Saturday said there is no distress sale of paddy as alleged by the Opposition parties. To a question from Pratap Chandra Sarangi (Ind), the Minister said that paddy procurement had already been completed in Western Odisha districts. Procurement is yet to be completed in some districts like Balasore and Bhadrak where late variety paddy is cultivated.
The Minister said that 498 women self-help groups and 75 pani panchayats besides five government agencies and millers are engaged in paddy procurement. He said millers have opened 1,032 paddy procurement centres while the primary agriculture cooperative societies are procuring paddy through 1,991 centres. He said one pani panchayat has been allowed to procure paddy from two gram panchayats.
Pujari announced that the State Government had decided to open a paddy procurement centre at every gram panchayat keeping paddy production in view. The procurement centres will be computerised. A pilot project has already been launched in Sonepur district, he said.