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Rajendra Prasad Mohapatra

Bhubaneswar: Food Supplies and Consumer Welfare Minister Ranendra Pratap Singh has ordered an investigation into the alleged irregularities in the distribution of tokens to farmers for the procurement of Kharif paddy in Sambalpur.

The farmers in the district had alleged delay in the distribution of tokens leading to a mess following the paddy procurement process, which started three days back in the western Odisha districts of Bargarh, Sambalpur and Kalahandi.

“Out of the 53147 farmers, token has already been generated in favour of 51371 farmers in the district since a week. Rest of the tokens will be generated shortly,” Singh Tweeted.

“However, considering the reports, published in some sections of the media about the delay in the distribution of tokens, I have ordered a probe into the incident,” Singh added.

Earlier on Monday, Singh had brushed aside allegations of delay in the distribution of token by claiming that the process is going on smoothly.

“Those farmers who have registered themselves online are being provided the tokens in alphabetical order. There are no irregularities in the system as everything has been streamlined and everybody will be provided with the tokens like last year,” he had said.

The minister had also informed that out of the targeted procurement of 71 lakh metric tonnes of paddy, around 46,600 metric tonnes of kharif paddy have already been procured in the last two days.

“Earlier the State used to procure 50 metric tonnes but for the first time, it has been increased to 71 metric tonnes. Even arrangements will be made to procure surplus paddy from small and marginal farmers who have registered for it,” said Singh.

It may be noted that online registration is mandatory for the farmers in their nearest PACS, LAMPCS, WSHG and Pani Panchayats to sell their Kharif paddy. Over 14.97 lakh farmers have registered themselves online for the procurement this year.

The Minimum Support Price (MSP) for fair average quality (FAQ) of paddy has been fixed at Rs 1,868 per quintal and Rs 1,888 per quintal for Grade-A variety paddy.

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