BHUBANESWAR: The State Government on Wednesday fixed a target of procuring 10.29 lakh tonnes of paddy during the current rabi marketing season beginning May 1.
Procurement of rabi paddy will be made in 19 districts. The State-designated agencies will start procurement operation from May 1. This was decided at the State level paddy procurement committee meeting chaired by Chief Secretary Aditya Prasad Padhi here.
“The meeting reviewed the preparations for paddy procurement for rabi season and also the achievements made in kharif marketing season (KMS). The indicative target for the rabi marketing season is 7 lakh tonnes of rice. If need arises, the target will be increased,” said Food Supplies and Consumer Welfare Secretary Madhusudan Padhi after the meeting.
Padhi said 41.69 lakh tonne of paddy (about 28.35 lakh tonne in term of rice) was procured during the KMS which is around 4 per cent higher than the corresponding period in the previous season.
Collectors of paddy procuring districts will assign various days of a week for paddy procurement. The number of paddy purchase centres will be decided at district level as per their requirement to facilitate procurement of all marketable surplus within the stipulated period of June 30, 2016.
The Centre has set June 30 as the deadline for paddy procurement and the last date for delivery of custom milled rice (CMR) of rabi paddy is September 30, 2016 to streamline procurement operations, official sources said.
Keeping in view the possible crop damage due to scanty rainfall in the State last year, the Government fixed a target to procure 30 lakh tonne of rice for the 2015-16 kharif season.
While the target was to procure 23 lakh tonne of rice during the kharif season, the Government has already procured 28.35 lakh tonnes despite deficient rainfall and drought in 27 districts.
The meeting has decided to debar rice miller agents who have failed to deliver less than 50 per cent levy rice of kharif season from paddy procurement during rabi season.
The Paddy Procurement Automation System (P-PAS) will be made applicable to ensure transparency, efficiency, accuracy and economy in the process of paddy procurement, Padhi added.