HYDERABAD: Paddy worth around Rs 1,500 crore, which was supplied to rice millers by the State government for custom milling, is now either discoloured, damaged or has germinated or has become unfit for consumption.
This colossal waste was the direct consequence of the Food Corporation of India (FCI) not procuring the custom-milled rice from rice millers.
According to an estimate by the millers, around 3 lakh metric tonnes of paddy was fully damaged, nearly 5 lakh metric tonnes partly damaged and another 2 to 3 lakh metric tonnes has developed moisture content.
At this juncture, who will have to suffer the huge monetary loss?
While the Civil Supplies Department officials are holding rice millers accountable, the rice millers are blaming the State and Central governments.
Speaking to Express, Vaddi Mohan Reddy, general secretary of Rice Millers Association, said that around 10 lakh metric tonnes of paddy has been damaged. He said that the government should bear the loss as the stalemate was due to political issues.
“We have made a representation to Civil Supplies commissioner withdrawing our custody and asked the government to withdraw their stocks of paddy. How can we be held accountable for no mistake of ours,” Mohan Reddy asked.
During the last three crop seasons, the State government has supplied 92.93 lakh metric tonnes of paddy to the rice millers of which, according to the Rice Millers Association, as much as 62.32 lakh metric tonnes paddy is still laying with the millers as the stalemate over State and Central governments is continuing since the first week of June.
When contacted, a highly placed official with the Civil Supplies department said on the condition of anonymity that the rice millers will have to return the custom milled rice and if they do not, they would have to bear the loss.
Representatives in Delhi
The representatives of Rice Millers Association have reached Delhi to urge the Minister of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution Piyush Goyal to instruct the FCI to resume collection of CMR.
The millers are likely to meet the Minister on Wednesday.
They would also call upon the FCI officials and MPs. Over 2,000 rice mills have stopped functioning following the FCI decision to stop the collection of custom-milled rice on June 7.