Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Apr 2:
The Odisha government today urged the Centre to reconsider its decision to delete Custom Milled Rice (CMR) stocks it has received after the cut off date from the Central Pool failing and threatened to opt out of the Decentralised Procurement (DCP) operations altogether if the request is not accepted.
In a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik said procurement of paddy/rice has increased in Odisha after adoption of the DCP scheme since Kharif Marketing Season (KMS) 2003-04.
Stating that Odisha has become a surplus state in terms of rice since KMS 2007-08 and is meeting the requirement of rice under various schemes from the DCP stock and delivering the surplus rice to the Food Corporation of India (FCI) to meet the requirement of other states, the Chief Minister admitted that the milling capacity and godown capacity for rice storage has not increased proportionately though the procurement of paddy has increased in the state during last six years.
He said due to these limitations, the acceptance of rice after milling gets delayed beyond the period allowed by the Centre for the KMS.
However, the Centre, which had fixed the cut off date for the FCI for receiving the CMR stocks for Odisha KMS 2011-12 and 2012-13, as December 31, 2012 and December 31, 2013 respectively, has now asked the FCI to delete the rice stocks received after the cut off date by the state government from the Central Pool accounts, Patnaik said.
Informing the Prime Minister that the CMR stock, received by state government after December 31, 2012 for KMS 2011-12 and after December 31, 2013 for KMS 2012-13 has been utilised in managing the PDS as part of the Central Pool, Patnaik said the state government will have to bear the entire cost of the CMR received after the cut-off date, which would run into hundreds of crores if this stock is now deleted from the Central Pool.
While requesting the Prime Minister to revise the above order and direct the concerned ministry to accept them as part of the Central Pool by duly considering the genuine reasons of the state government, he said such a step would force the state government to opt out of the DCP operations altogether.