Hyderabad: The Chief Minister, Mr N Kiran Kumar Reddy, today requested the Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution, Prof. K. V. Thomas to increase Minimum Support Price (MSP) to paddy by at least Rs 200 per quintal and grant permission for export of 25 lakh metric tonnes of rice (15 lakh tonnes of boiled rice and 10 lakh tonnes of raw rice) to other countries.
The Chief Minister also requested for movement of at least seven lakh metric tonnes of rice to other States per month and Railways may be impressed upon to make available the required number of Rakes (at least 300 rakes per month) and also to instruct the Food Corporation of India to take active part in loading and unloading of exported rice to other States through Railway rakes.
The Chief Minister convened a high level meeting on the issues related to ‘Rabi Procurement’ at his camp office today in which the Union Minister Sri Thomas, Union Minister of State for Defence, M M Pallam Raju, Union Minister of State for Textiles, Ms Panabaka Lakshmi, the Minister for Agriculture and Higher Education, Mr Damodaram Rajanarasimha, the Minister for Food and Civil Supplies, Mr D. Sridhar Babu, the Minister for Marketing, Mr M. Mukesh Goud, the Members of Parliament Mr Kavuri Sambasiva Rao, Mr J.D. Seelam, Chairman and Managing Director, Food Corporation of India, Mr Siraj Hussain, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Food and Civil Supplies, Government of India, Mr Navin Prakash and other senior officials participated.
The Chief Minister said that the State government has been taking necessary measures to ensure that the farmers get MSP for paddy through 1209 purchase centres opened by FCI, State Civil Supplies Corporation and Indira Kranthi Patham (IKP) Women groups. In Andhra Pradesh, about 90% marketable surplus of paddy is purchased by the rice millers at MSP and above for delivering levy rice and utilization of levy free permits. The Chief Minister also stated that the Joint collectors made responsible to ensure MSP to farmers and appointed 10 senior IAS Officers to ten districts to oversee the Rabi Procurement. Call Centres have been opened to assist the farmers all over the State.
Due to space constraint, the FCI is not in a position to accept the levy rice as offered by the rice millers in some major rice procuring districts. Hence, the Chief Minister requested the Union Minister to permit for creation of 25 lakh metric tonnes of new go-down space in the State. The Chief Minister instructed the State Warehousing Corporation Officials to work out necessary plans to create new go-down space in coordination with the Government of India Officials.
The Chief Minister has also informed that due to high production cost, the present MSP for paddy is not remunerative to farmers, and requested that MSP may be increased by at least Rs.200/- per quintal. The Chief Minister requested to permit export of 15 lakh MTs of Boiled rice and 10 lakh MTs of non-basmati Raw rice from Andhra Pradesh to other countries. He has also requested the union Minister to impress upon the Ministry of Railways to provide the required number of rakes for augmenting the movement of rice to places outside the State.
The Chief Minister Stated that about 2 crore BPL families are being supplied Rs.2/- kilo rice and an amount of Rs.2,000 crores incurred for subsidy annually. During 2009-10, the rice production in the State was 108 lakh tonnes increased to 140 lakh metric tonnes in 2010-11 with a 32% increase. The Chief Minister informed that new ayacut of 35 lakh acres would be created in the State in the next three years with an additional production of 80 to 90 lakh metric tonnes of rice. (NSS)