Hyderabad: The Chief Minister, Mr N. Kiran Kumar Reddy, on Wednesday directed the Chief Secretary, Mr S V Prasad, to take all necessary steps for procurement of paddy from the farmers. He also advised the Chief Secretary to appoint senior IAS officers as coordinators in 10 districts to ensure smooth and hassle-free paddy purchases. The Chief Minister also directed the Chief Secretary to appoint the Principal Secretary, Agriculture, Mr K Ratna Kishore, to coordinate all activities connected with “Rabi procurement” at the State level.
The Chief Minister, this afternoon reviewed with higher officials in the Secretariat, the problems being faced by the farmers relating to Rabi crop procurement — availability of space in godowns, minimum support price and so on. The Minister for Civil Supplies, Mr D Sridhar Babu, the Revenue Minister, Mr N Raghuveera Reddy, the Minister for IT, Mr Ponnala Lakshmaiah, the Chief Secretary, the Chief Minister’s Special Chief Secretary, Mr J Satyanarayana, the FCI general manager, Mr Kalyan, and others were present.
Complying with the Chief Minister’s directive, the Chief Secretary released orders appointing the senior IAS Officers as Coordinators for supervising the rabi paddy procurement in 10 districts. They are: M Subrahmanyam for East Godavari, Ms Poonam Malakondaiah (West Godavari), Mr B R Meena (Krishna), Mr Heeralal Samaria ( Guntur), Mr Anantaramu (Nellore), Mr Vijayanand (Nalgonda), Mr Sandeep Kumar Sultania (Karimnagar), Ms V Usha Rani (Khammam), Mr Sivasankar (Warangal) and Mr L Prema Chandra Reddy (Nizamabad).
Similarly, Mr K Ratna Kishore was appointed as State-level Special Officer for coordinating with the departments of Civil Supplies, Agriculture, Public Relations, Railways, Food Corporation of India and district administrations.
Earlier, speaking at the Review meeting, the Chief Minister asked the officials to see that there was no scarcity of gunny bags and tarpaulin for stocking the procured rice in the godowns. He said that under emergency circumstances, the procured rice should be preserved in the nearest schools and colleges for a short time and take special interest to ensure that the farmers get remunerative price for their produce. The Chief Minister also said that he would talk to the higher officials of the Railways to provide adequate number of railway racks for export of boiled rice to other States.
The officials told Mr Kiran Kumar Reddy that while 108 lakh metric tons of rice was produced during 2009-10, the output was 140 metric tons during 2010-11. They said that 40 lakh metric tons of rice would be procured from this month to September. They also disclosed that every month some four to five lakh metric tons boiled rice was being exported to other States through 250 to 300 railway racks.
The officials also informed the Chief Minister that 1,209 paddy procurement centers have been started by the Civil Supplies, Indira Kranthi Patham and FCI in order to ensure remunerative price more than the MSP to the farmers. They also said that some 12 lakh metric tons of paddy was procured from the rice millers so far.
After a patient hearing, the Chief Minister asked the officials to make all arrangements for rice procurement so that the farmers are not to put to hardship. He also told the officials that he had urged the Union Finance Minister and incharge of Food Affairs, Mr Pranab Mukherji, to direct the FCI to export rice to the neighbouring Karnataka rather than Punjab. Similarly, he had urged the Union Minister to accord permission to export 15 lakh metric tons boiled rice to other countries, he added. (NSS)