Minister of State for Food and Civil Supplies Dinesh Gundu Rao defended the State government’s levy policy of procurement of rice from mills.
He said here on Wednesday that ‘refusing to comply with the levy order is nothing, but declining to pay taxes’. Referring to rice mill owners’ apprehension over the government’s levy order, Rao said the collection target of five lakh tonnes of levy rice in this harvesting year is realistic. “We have fixed the target after going through all the aspects of its impact,” Rao said.
He said the rice mill owners had only subscribed to about 50,00 quintals of rice last year through levy payment. “The government is ready to negotiate with them to hear their bona fide grievances. We may also consider demands of the mill owners to include the paddy traders in the ambit of the levy collection,” he added.
He also defended the procurement price of `22.1 per kg. It has set a target of collection of 13.5 lakh tonnes of rice from over 1,800 rice mills across the State in a harvesting year with a price tag of `22.1 per kg.