Odishatv Bureau

Bhubaneswar: Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan targeted the State Government on Wednesday for rejecting the Centre’s offer to relax Fair Average Quality (FAQ) norms for procurement of paddy under Minimum Support Price (MSP) mechanism.

Pradhan took to twitter and stated the decision of Odisha to reject the Centre’s proposal, for relaxation of FAQ norms for paddy in 15 districts hit by unseasonal rains, is unfortunate. The Centre had agreed to procure discoloured, damaged, sprouted paddy in the districts.

Citing example of Bihar, Pradhan said the same FAQ relaxation has been extended to the home State of Union Food Minister Ram Vilas Paswan and the State government has accepted it. The MSP for paddy has been lowered marginally and the benefits are being extended to the farmers.

Pradhan alleged that Odisha's decision to reject the proposal will lead to distress sale of paddy.

On the other hand, Food Supplies and Consumer Welfare Minister Surya Narayan Patro said the State government had demanded for relaxation in FAQ in 2010 when the Centre had relaxed it without reducing the MSP.

At present, the Centre has reduced the MSP along with relaxation of paddy FAQ norms which will not benefit the farmers in any way, he added.

"The Centre has relaxed the norms for the discoloured paddy but they have also reduced its price to Rs 1,410, due to which farmer faces a loss of Rs 140. Here the government is procuring paddy instead of millers so if they give Rs 1,410 in place of Rs 1,550, how will it benefit the farmers," said Patro.