Chhattisgarh wants FCI to lift 20 lakh tonnes of paddy
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Last Updated: Wednesday, July 14, 2010, 20:48
New Delhi: The Chhattisgarh government today asked the Centre to direct the Food Corporation of India to take the onus of converting at least 20 lakh tonnes of paddy procured by the state into rice.

"I requested Sharad Pawar to direct FCI to lift at least 20 lakh tonnes of paddy from the state for milling. This will be a win-win situation for both FCI and the state," Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh told reporters after emerging from a meeting with the Union Agriculture Minister.

Chhattisgarh procures around 50 lakh tonnes of paddy each marketing year (October-September), out of which it wants to keep 30 lakh tonnes of paddy for its own use. The state wants the remaining quantity to be taken off its hands by the FCI and converted into rice, an official said.

The Chief Minister said the state is incurring huge losses on interest payments against loans from the Reserve Bank for procurement of rice.

Singh also pointed out that the state does not have enough storage capacity for surplus paddy.

"I urged Pawar to revive the past practice of the Centre lifting surplus paddy from the state," he said, adding that the Union Minister gave a sympathetic hearing to the plea.

Apart from this, Singh requested Pawar to expedite setting up of a 'biotic stress' research institute in the state, for which in-principle approval was given earlier.

Singh also asked the Agriculture Minister to extend the purview of the Rs 5,000 crore National Food Security Mission to the remaining eight districts in the state. At present, 10 districts in Chhattisgarh are covered under the NFSM.


First Published: Wednesday, July 14, 2010, 20:48

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