BJD MPs meet Food minister Piyush Goyal for solution of paddy procurement problem in Odisha

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Bhubaneswar, Jul 20 (PTI) The ruling Biju Janata Dal in Odisha Tuesday staged demonstration at regional office of the Food Corporation of India, while a delegation of the party MPs met Union Food minister Piyusg Goyal and placed demand seeking redressal of paddy procurement problems.

The BJD MPs, both from Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha met Goyal in Parliament.

The memorandum demanded immediate release of pending food subsidy of Odisha, lifting of surplus rice from the state by the FCI and gunny bags shortage issue.

'Union Minister assured that he would do the needful,' a member of the delegation said.

The BJD MPs demanded release of pending subsidy of Rs 6,081.45 crore.

The paddy/ rice procurement operations under the MSP programme is a task which is in the domain of the FCI (Centre).

However, in order to extend the outreach of MSP to remote, far-flung and inaccessible areas, the Odisha government took over in 2003-04 the responsibility of procuring paddy from farmers in the state.

As per the MoU signed with the centre, there has to be zero financial liability on the state government or state procuring agency.

However, the release of advance subsidy to Odisha is irregular, the BJD MPs alleged.

'Odisha State Civil Supplies Corporation, the major procuring agency of the state government, is to receive Rs 5,365.11 crore as provisional subsidy and advance subsidy of Rs 716.34 crore,' the memorandum said.

The delegation also informed the union minister about no lifting of surplus rice by the FCI from Odisha.

They said not lifting of surplus rice from the state by the FCI has serious implications of choking godowns and preventing timely receipt of rice from millers and being saddled with unwanted rice for which there will be no takers.

In another development in the state capital here, a group of BJD MLAs and leaders staged demonstration before the FCIs regional office and put forth the same demand as made by the MPs.

They also warned that the party will further intensify the agitation of the states problems are not solved.

This is considered as the BJDs first demonstration against the BJP-led central government after 2019 general elections.

The BJDs agitation came close on the heels of the saffron party recently staging demonstrations in all districts over non-procurement of paddy from farmers.

The BJP is the main opposition party in Odisha. TI AAM SNS SNS

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