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Centre to help states in paddy procurement
Last Updated : 07 Dec 2012 04:34:20 PM IST
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Seeking to allay apprehensions of farmers, government Friday said that it would provide whatever assistance is needed to the states, including Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, on the issue of procurement of paddy in a year marked by record harvest.

The assurance was given by Food Minister K V Thomas at the end of an impromptu discussion, following uproar over the issue with members from the Samajwadi Party and the RJD storming the well demanding immediate statement from the government.
Finance Minister P Chidambaram, earlier in the day, had said the government would convene a meeting of the affected states to find ways to resolve the problems. But this did not satisfy the agitated members, leading to the adjournment of the House for over an hour.
When the House re-assembled, SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav said all members want the House to function, therefore he be allowed to raise the issue.
He claimed that fearing disciplinary action, FCI officials in Uttar Pradesh have rejected rice procured from mills despite accepting it in the first place on grounds of poor quality.
Yadav said action against some FCI officials for poor quality control had led to the situation as fearing punishment they were reluctant in approving the quality of rice procured.
He claimed that though rice mills had sufficient funds and gunny bags, they were not buying paddy from farmers as FCI was not accepting their product.
"90,000 metric tonnes of rice has been rejected after being accepted by FDI. It has created problems for farmers," Yadav said.
He said the state government has already requested the Centre to lower the quality benchmarks for rice procurement.

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