Mumbai: The Opposition in Maharashtra Legislative Assembly on Tuesday criticised the government for non procurement of paddy in four districts of East Vidarbha since last month, prompting Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan to assure the House that a decision in this regard would be taken in a day or two.
Food and Civil Supplies Minister Anil Deshmukh put the ball in the Centre`s court saying that the procurement was stopped on the directions of the central government.
"I have written to the new Food and Civil Supplies Minister Ram Vilas Paswan regarding procurement of paddy on May 27 and a decision to re-start it would be taken after the response," he added.
However, BJP legislator Kushal Bopche and Congress MLA Gopal Agarwal said the state government could restart the procurement without waiting for the Centre`s directives as there is a GR to continue procurement centres till June 30.
Bopche said the Centre`s GR of May 8 regarding stopping of the procurement can be scrapped. He said since the procurement has stopped since May 15, traders have purchased paddy at price less than the minimum support price.
"Due to this farmers have suffered losses to the tune of Rs 20,000 per hectare," he said.
Speaker Dilip Walse Patil asked the state government to consider taking initiative to ensure farmers are not affected if the Centre`s response is not received in two days.
Opposition members shouted slogans against the government for its apathetic attitude towards farmers.
Also, BJP`s Atul Deshkar tried to lift the Speaker`s mace while protesting against the government following which he was named and warned by the Chair.
Chief Minister Chavan said considering the sentiments of the House, a decision regarding paddy procurement would be taken by tomorrow.