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Odisha rejects Centre’s relaxation on paddy procurement

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Bhubaneswar: The Odisha government on Tuesday rejected the Central government’s relaxation of quality norms for procurement of paddy under the Minimum Support Price (MSP) mechanism.

The state government said even though the Central government has relaxed the Fair Average Quality (FAQ) specifications for the purpose of paddy procurement in 15 districts, it has reduced the MSP, which will affect the farmers.

“The Centre has relaxed the FAQ norms in the districts where the quality of paddy had deteriorated due to unseasonal rain during last kharif. But, it has reduced the MSP on paddy from existing Rs 1,550 to Rs 1,410 on the discoloured paddy,” said Food Supplies and Consumer Welfare Minister Surya Narayan Patro.

He said while the central government had relaxed the FAQ norms in 2010, it had not reduced the MSP on paddy during that period.

“I have requested the Chief Minister to seek the intervention of the Prime Minister in this regard as that the farmers can be benefited,” said Patro.

The unseasonal rain had caused extensive damage to standing and harvested crops stacked in fields during the Kharif season.

As per existing norms, the government can purchase paddy, which was damaged, discoloured, sprouted or weevilled by up to 5 per cent of the total quantity. Paddy damaged over 5 per cent is rejected.

The Special Relief Commissioner (SRC) report said the unseasonal rain has affected around five lakh hectares of paddy in 19 districts.

(IANS)

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