Chief Minister Shri Bhupesh Baghel has written letter to Government of India’s Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution Minister Mr. Ramvilas Paswan stating that presently, in view of the corona virus (COVID-19) pandemic, Chhattisgarh Government is interested in providing for the rice requirement of other states of the country for public distribution system (PDS).
Chief Minister Baghel stated in the letter that in Chhattisgarh, total 83.67 lakh metric tons of paddy has been procured from 18.20 lakh farmers at support price in year kharif marketing year 2019-20. Paddy procurement and custom milling of rice is done in the state as per the MoU signed between State Government and Government of India’s Food and Public Distribution Department. In the para 18 of this MoU, there is a provision of Food Corporation of India procuring all the surplus rice.
In the letter of Government of India’s Food and Public Distribution Ministry dated 19 December 2019, procurement of 24 lakh tons of Usna rice under central pool of Food Corporation of India has been permitted. In Chhattisgarh, out of total 56.51 lakh metric tons of paddy produced from total 83.67 lakhs metric tons of the paddy procured during kharif marketing year 2019-20, 25.40 lakh metric tons of rice will be procured by the state for PDS requirement. After contribution of 15.48 lakh metric tons of rice into central pool and 9.92 lakh metric tons into state pool, 31.11 lakh metric tons of rice will be surplus. Government of India has given permission for procurement of only 24 lakh metric tons of rice by Food Corporation of India, which would result in redressal of only 73.20 lakh metric tons of paddy out of the total paddy procured, leaving nearly 10.47 lakh metric tons of paddy (proportionate to 7.11 lakh metric tons of rice) unredressed. State Government had requested earlier also through semi-official letter dated 25 February 2020 to give permission procurement of 31 lakh tons of rice by Food Corporation of India. Presently, in view of the COVID-19 pandemic, Chhattisgarh Government is willing to contribute for the rice requirement of other states of the nation, hence, permission for increase in FCI’s procurement limit from 24 lakh tons to 31.11 lakh tons of rice in kharif marketing year 2019-20 is requested.