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Centre urged to relax norms for paddy procurement

Staff Reporter

BHUBANESWAR: The State government on Monday urged Centre to relax norms regarding quality of paddy being procured during kharif marketing season for 2010-11 following spells of rain in many districts during ongoing harvesting season.

“Quality of paddy has been affected in many districts of the State due to rains in harvesting period.

In Nabarangpur district, sporadic rains have damaged ready-to-harvest crop,” said Ashok Meena, Chairman of Orissa State Civil Supplies Corporation (OSCSC) here.

Mr. Meena said as per reports paddy became discoloured in different places and it was likely to not up to the prescribed standard for which farmers could become sufferer.

If norms were relaxed which once happened in 2005-06, farmers would take benefit of the procurement, which started from October 1 and would continue till September 1 next year, the OSCSC chairman said. Meanwhile, the corporation has been assigned with the initial target of 14 lakh metric tonnes of custom milled rice during KMS-2010-11.

“A sum of about Rs. 2,700 crores will be required to meet the cost of equivalent paddy and other expenses. The OSCSC has already made arrangements to avail cash credit limit to the tune of Rs. 3,300 crore for initial target,” Food Supplies and Consumer Welfare department sources said. Till date OSCSC Limited has released Rs. 123.50 crore to different districts for purchase of paddy during the season, it said.

Collectors have been advised to ensure that no genuine farmer is denied access to paddy procurement operations and that the farmers do not face any difficulty in getting farmers identity cards or other identity documents.

The department said the Food and Procurement Policy allows genuine farmers to see their paddy through kisan credit card or land pass book or record of rights or farmers identity card or certificate of Revenue officials supported by elector's photo identity card.

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