KOLKATA: Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s government is yet to put up signboards and flexes with the National Food Security Act (NFSA) logo and photos of Prime Minister Narendra Modi at all ration shops across the state despite repeated reminders.
Consequently, the Centre has decided to withhold the release of Rs 7,000 crore to the state government to procure paddy for the centre’s schemes.
State government officials said the Centre’s refusal to reimburse the sum could leave a serious impact on paddy collection on the state in the ongoing financial year.
“The state government has already procured 8.52 lakh tonnes for the NFSA schemes in this financial year for the central pool. It has procured 22 lakh tonnes of paddy, including the volume for the central pool, against its annual target of 70 lakh tonnes this year. But the state government is yet to be reimbursed for paddy it procured on behalf of the Centre.
The freezing of the Centre’s reimbursement will have an immediate impact on paddy procurement in the ongoing Kharif season,” said an state government official.
Sources in the state government said the state has set a target of procuring 80 per cent of its annual target of 70 lakh tonnes in the kharif season.
Procurement for Kharif season continues till February-end. “If the state does not get enough fund during this window, the entire process will be hit,” said another official.
The Centre, on several occasions, asked the state government to put up signboards and flexes with Modi’s photos and NFSA logo at all ration shops.