Centre appreciates WB`s paddy procurement drive
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Last Updated: Saturday, January 14, 2012, 18:56
Kolkata: The Centre has appreciated the paddy procurement by the West Bengal government, but has asked it for streamlining the drive.

"We are happy at the procurement by the West Bengal government," Union Food secretary Bhusan Chandra Gupta said after a meeting with state chief secretary Samar Ghosh at Writers' Buildings on Saturday.

Gupta later said that the state government was asked to ensure that cooperative societies act as agents of the farmers. "Common issues" were discussed with the chief secretary, where procurement (paddy) was accorded top priority, he added.

To a question, Gupta said that modernisation of PDS was also discussed at the meeting where it was made clear that all cards would be digitised with the help of biometrics.

"Procurement should be streamlined and farmers should get payment through cheques. The sanctioned storage capacity should be fully used. We are happy at the procurement of the state government," the Union Food secretary said.

Gupta said that a meeting has been called in Delhi on February 8 and 9 on "food security".

Later, the chief secretary said he discussed with Gupta how godown space could be made available on PPP model. It was informed to him that the state government was firm on total procurement so that import can be stopped.

"Our PDS is not fool-proof, but not unsatisfactory," Ghosh said, adding that the district magistrates and superintendents of police had been asked to monitor procurement.

To a question, the chief secretary said that rice was still being distributed among people of Jangalmahal at Rs two per kg and instructions had been issued to open more food outlets in that region.

The chief secretary told a questioner that the state government had no reports of any farmer's suicide in any part of the state.


First Published: Saturday, January 14, 2012, 18:56

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