BHUBANESWAR: Minister for Food Supplies and Consumer Welfare Ranendra Pratap Swain on Saturday called farmers of several western Odisha districts over telephone to enquire about paddy purchased from them at mandis and whether payment was made to them on time.
Food Supplies and Consumer Welfare (FS&CW) is one of the six departments which will come under Mo Sarkar charter from December 1.
Telephone numbers of farmers from Sambalpur, Bargarh, Nuapada, Kalahandi and Malkangiri districts were selected in a random manner. The Minister called the farmers as part of the guidelines for the implementation of Mo Sarkar and 5T initiative.
The Minister made a surprise visit to the office of the Odisha State Civil Supplies Corporation Limited here and talked to farmers from its call centre. He first called Gunamani Nag, a farmer of Gobindpur village in Dhankaudi block of Sambalpur district.
The Minister had telephonic discussion with 20 farmers including Tikeswar Panigrahi of Karnapali village in Sambalpur, D Adilaxmi of Bargarh, Durgaprasad Singh of Nuapada, Rushimani Sahu of Mahalinga village in Kalahandi district and Bikash Mondal of Malkangiri district.
Sources said the Minister’s discussion with the farmers was satisfactory. The farmers said they have received money after selling paddy at the mandis.
The Minister assured the farmers that steps have been initiated to streamline the paddy procurement system to make it more transparent and requested them to bring to his notice any problems faced by them in this regard.Delay in procurement of paddy due to introduction of centralised token system was a major issue in the recently concluded winter session of the Assembly.
Opposition BJP and Congress members who created noisy scenes over the issue on most of days demanded withdrawal of the centralised token system. Farmers from different parts of the State also launched agitation over the delay in procurement and lack of infrastructure in the mandis.
Health and police departments have already been included in the Mo Sarkar programme from the beginning. Five other departments to come under the purview of Mo Sarkar charter from December 1 are FS&CW, Women and Child Development, Cooperation, Panchayati Raj, and Commerce and Transport.