PUDUCHERRY: Tension prevailed on Wednesday as the owners of various rice mills picketed the office of civil supplies department to protest against pressure tactics of the government to lift levy rice (single boiled rice) for distribution under PDS from the mills at levy rates without payment of additional
Though the issue is pending in the High Court, based on an interim order from the court the department of civil supplies had warned the millers of lifting rice from the mills if they failed to supply it. Infact, around 30 to 35 rice mills in Puducherry had shut down and had handed over the key of the mills to the government, represented by director of civil supplies L Mohamed Mansoor. “If we have to supply levy rice without incentive we cannot run it. Let the government run them by paying the dues. Around `100 crore is pending as loan, for which the dues have to be paid by 30th of each month,” said Yuvaraj, president of rice mill owners association.
The rice mills are opposed to the withdrawal of additional incentive of `3.16 per kg for the supply of single boiled rice as levy.
This was the arrangement made by the previous Congress government for providing single boiled rice instead of double boiled rice or raw rice as levy. The millers are willing to supply double boiled rice or raw rice at levy rates, but not single boiled rice.
Mansoor pacified them stating that he took charge only a few days ago and was yet to study things and assured that he would take up their grievances with the government to find some ways for redress.