BHUBANESWAR: Amidst criticism over delay in opening of mandis, the State Government has procured over 49.36 lakh tonne of paddy, achieving 89 per cent of the target till March 5.The paddy procurement target for Kharif Marketing Season (KMS) 2018-19 was pegged at 55.65 lakh tonne. Paddy worth `8,639 crore has been procured in the last four months. Balangir tops the list of districts with achieving 99 per cent of the target. Of 2.84 lakh tonne paddy target, over 2.81 lakh tonne has been procured from the district.
Sources said 16 districts have achieved over 90 pc of the target. The districts are Deogarh at 98 pc, Jagatsinghpur, Subarnapur and Malkangiri at 97 pc each, Khurda, Rayagada and Nayagarh 96 pc each while Koraput and Bargarh achieved 95 pc of the target.
Kendrapara is at the bottom of the list as only 62 pc of the target has been achieved. Other low procurement districts included Kandhamal (70 pc), Cuttack, Puri and Kalahandi (76 pc each).
While highest 6.76 lakh tonne of paddy has been procured from Bargarh district, followed by 3.68 lakh tonne from Ganjam, 3.67 lakh tonne from Kalahandi and 3.07 lakh tonne from Subarnapur, lowest 10,871 tonne of paddy has been purchased from Kandhamal district.
The Food Supplies and Consumer Welfare Department, which had pre-poned the procurement deadline by two months citing that the quantity of paddy procured this year had already crossed last year’s target, allowed to continue the process till the availability of surplus paddy following protests from farmers.
Meanwhile, Secretary of the department VV Yadav directed all district collectors to ensure timely payment of minimum support price (MSP) of paddy to farmers.
The instruction was given after the department noticed time lag between issue of vendor receipts and upload of payment advice spanning to three to four days.Since some purchase officers of PACS and LAMPS are not uploading payment advice on time to enable farmers to receive payment for paddy sold to Government through the societies, it is causing avoidable delay in processing the claim of farmers.
It has been decided that if a purchase officer fails to upload payment advice by 12 am in the midnight for a transaction that took place in the day, the payment will be made to farmers concerned by Odisha State Civil Supplies Corporation Ltd (OSCSC) or the State agency. The amount will be later recovered from the Commission fees to be paid to the society.