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Odisha Govt More Worried For Millers Than Farmers: BJP

Bhubaneswar: Hitting back at Odisha Government for accusing Centre of not lifting the surplus parboiled rice from State, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) of Odisha unit on Tuesday said that State government seems to be more worried for the millers than the farmers.

“A farmer usually sells paddy, but not rice. Millers get good margin in the production of parboiled rice rather than white rice. The parboiled rice gives 7% more production than the white rice. Moreover, Millers also get more profit by producing edible oil from the parboiled paddy husk”, BJP State general secretary Lekhasree Samant Singhar said at a press meet.

The Food Corporation of India (FCI) has given its consent to take 50% parboiled rice and urged the State to give as much as white rice, she added.

Parboiled rice is consumed only in Odisha and some parts of northern India. But, other parts of the State need white rice, she said adding that BJD is politicising the matter by hiding these issues.

The BJP’s response came a day after the regional party on Monday slammed the Centre for refusing to lift surplus parboiled rice from Odisha.

The BJD said through a statement that the Centre recently sent a letter stating that it would limit the lifting of parboiled rice to the extent of 50% of the original estimates and would not accept any surplus Parboiled rice during Rabi season 2020-21. This anti-farmer decision by the Centre will severely affect the farmers of Odisha, the statement added.

Meanwhile, Odisha Minister for Food Supplies and Consumer Welfare Ranendra Pratap Swain expressed concerns after FCI refused to accept the surplus parboiled rice from the State during Rabi season 2020-21.

In a letter to Union Minister Piyush Goel, Swain urged him to take measures for lifting of surplus parboiled rice from the State.

“Odisha is primarily a parboiled consuming State. Raw rice is consumed only in six districts. Most of the rice mills in the State are parboiled mills. Therefore, asking the State to deliver surplus rice in the form of raw rice in Rabi and to limit procurement of parboiled rice in the Kharif to the extent of 50% of last year FCI delivery will have far reaching adverse consequences for the State,” the letter read.

Swain further stated that Odisha’s own consumption under PDS and other welfare schemes stands around 24 lakh MT of rice.

“The estimated surplus that needs to be evacuated by FCI from the State in the current KMS would be in the range of 30 lakh MT,” Swain mentioned in his letter.

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