BHUBANESWAR: The State Government has announced incentives to encourage rice millers in paddy procurement and export of surplus rice.
While the Government exempted two per cent Central Sales Tax (CST) on inter-State trade of rice, the millers can reimburse two per cent market fee paid to regulated market committees on equivalent paddy traded outside the State. According to rice millers, the waiver of CST will boost the trade of surplus rice in a transparent manner.
The State Government has made a provision of `one crore for reimbursement of market fee to the millers.
The Food Supplies and Consumer Welfare Department has requested district Collectors to ensure that levy rice due from millers is collected before they dispose of any stock in the open market. The millers are required to deliver 25 per cent of levy rice to the Food Corporation of India out of the paddy procured by them from mandis or directly from farmers.
With the exemption of CST and market fee, the Odisha traders will be able to compete with traders of other States. Odisha being a rice surplus State, millers can sell the surplus rice to registered dealers through fair means, official sources said.
Neighbouring States like West Bengal, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand and Bihar have already allowed free trade of rice.
The State was at a disadvantage due to the prevalent tax structure. As surplus rice could not be moved out of the State, Odisha was facing acute shortage of storage space.
For paddy procurement under levy route, the millers have to pay the entire cost. The Government, however, debarred defaulting rice millers from taking part in the paddy procurement process.
As per procurement guidelines for Kharif Marketing Season (KMS) 2014-15, the millers can participate in procurement process only if they have delivered 100 per cent custom milled rice for the paddy taken by them during 2013-14.
In order to implement the decisions, the Government has decided to have a facility to store paddy on temporary basis. It has decided to store 10 lakh tonne of paddy during KMS 2014-15 in CAP (cover and plinth) storage locations under the open sky.