Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Apr 10:
In the wake of the indefinite agitation by the Nikhila Odisha Byabasayee Mahasangh (The Federation of All Odisha Traders’ Association (FAOTA) in the form of a complete halt to import of pulses, wheat and wheat products from outside states, the state government has decided to keep adequate stock of these products , as a contingency measure.
A decision to this effect was taken at a high level meeting, presided over by chief secretary GC Pati, here on Thursday. The meeting decided that the government, in the first phase, would purchase about 5000-10,000 tonnes of dal for which it would invite tenders from the supply agencies within three days. The government would provide the procured dal to the consumers through ration shops within 20 days.
The meeting revealed that the state has a monthly requirement of 15,000-17,000 tonnes of dal. Since the state imports around 2 lakh tonnes of various types of dal, procurement of 5000-10,000 tonnes of it would not be a long-term solution. Keeping this in view, the meeting decided to take steps after reviewing the market situation.
To meet the acute shortfall of pulses in the state, it was decided that the state government would provide subsidy to the farmers for pulses cultivation from the next kharif season.
Though the subsidy amount could not be fixed at the meeting, it was decided that the government would take a decision in this regard very soon.
The chief secretary asked the Agriculture department to prepare a draft proposal on this.
Among others, additional chief secretary, Finance, R Balakrishnan, principal secretary, Agriculture, Rajesh Verma, secretary, Food Supply and Consumer Welfare Madhusudan Padhi and senior officials of Commercial Tax and Markfed were present at the meeting.