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Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Oct 6:

The Odisha State Cabinet today approved 19 proposals including food and storage policy for paddy procurement, informed Food Supplies and Consumer Welfare Minister Sanjay Das Burma.

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The Cabinet today hiked the Minimum Support Price (MSP) for paddy for the 2016-17 kharif season. While the MSP of ordinary paddy has been fixed at Rs 1470 per quintal, the price for Grade-A paddy has been ascertained at Rs 1510 per quintal. Notably, the state government has set a target to procure 30 lakh metric tonnes of rice this season.

“Rural piped water supply project covering five districts— Balasore, Bhadrak, Puri, Keonjhar and Bolangir— under RWSS has been approved where around 2.6 lakh people would be benefitted. The project would cover 305 villages in 10 blocks. A 100-bedded mother and child hospital would come up at Kendrapara which would be built on turn key basis,” Chief Secretary Aditya Prasad Padhi said.

It may be recalled that the Cabinet Committee of Economic Affairs (CCEA) in June this year had increased the MSP of paddy by Rs 60 to Rs 1470.

“The cabinet has approved the food and storage policy for paddy procurement for Kharif Market Season (KMS)-2016-17 for streamlining the procurement process. As per the decision of the Union government, the MSP of ordinary paddy has been fixed at Rs 1470 per quintal, the price for Grade-A paddy has been ascertained at Rs 1510 per quintal,” Food Supplies and Consumer Welfare Minister Sanjay Das Burma said.

As per the Cabinet decision, the millers who have given 100 per cent rice will be entitled to purchase paddy. In addition to this, the state government has also decided on implementing Paddy Procurement Automation System (P-PAS) in 294 blocks.

Yielding to the pressure of farmers especially from Western Odisha, the government has decided not to make Aadhaar mandatory to sell their produce at procurement centres.

“Nearly 9 lakh farmers have already registered in the paddy procurement process, while 7.93 lakh farmers have been issued Aadhaar cards. The process of Aadhaar card generation would be completed by October end. Payment of farmers’ dues would be transferred by state agencies to their bank accounts through electronic mode,” Das Burma added.

Similarly, the Cabinet also gave its nod to construct a 100-bed mother and child hospital in Kendrapara at the cost of Rs 110 crore.

A proposal for construction of a bridge on Boudh-Athamallick road over river Mahanadi also got approval. The government has set a deadline of 36 months for the completion of the project at an estimated cost of Rs 168 crore.

The Cabinet also agreed to continue with 1% value added tax (VAT) on pulses for next 3 months. The state government had slashed the VAT from 5% to 1% on an experimental basis to study the impact on its exchequer. Besides, VAT on e-rickshaw and LPG cylinders have been slashed at same rate from 14.5 % to 5%.

Further, the government approved a drinking water project at an estimated cost of Rs 432 crore in Berhampur. It also waived the VAT on Pani Panchayat.