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Odishatv Bureau

Bhubaneswar: The Odisha government has urged the Centre to release subsidy for the paddy procurement during the ongoing kharif marketing season (KMS), a minister said.

The central government has released Rs 1,434.90 crore subsidy as against a claim of Rs 4,307.17 crore for the quarter ending December, 2019, state Food Supplies and Consumer Welfare Minister RP Swain said.

In a letter dated January 21, he sought personal intervention of Union Minister for Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution Ram Vilas Paswan for release of the subsidy amount at the earliest.

"Non-release of subsidy in time by Government of India has landed the Odisha State Civil Supplies Corporation (OSCSC) in a serious financial crunch," Swain said.

He further said, "I request you (Paswan) for release of the pending subsidy and release advance subsidy for the quarter ending March, 2020 at the earliest," he said in the letter, adding that all the resources including sanctioned limit of bank finance have already been exhausted.

In the current KMS 2019-20, more than 30 lakh metric tonnes paddy has already been procured and Rs 5,400 crore towards minimum support price transferred to the bank accounts of farmers, the minister said.

"Further paddy procurement from farmers may be severely affected, if the subsidy amount from the Government of India is not received at the earliest," Swain said.

The claim for advance subsidy of about Rs 1,400 crore for the March quarter will be submitted within a couple of days, he said.

Though, as per MoU with the Centre, advance subsidy is to be released in the 1st month of the quarter, no such subsidy has been extended during the entire FY 2019-20, Swain said in the letter.

(PTI)

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