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Poonam Singh

Bhubaneswar: The Odisha government has urged the Centre to release for early release of the pending subsidy of Rs 6,039 crore to complete the paddy procurement process in the state.

State Food Supplies and Consumer Welfare Minister Ranendra Pratap Swain, in a letter to Union Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution Minister Piyush Goyal, said that the Odisha State Civil Supplies Corporation (OSCSC), which undertakes paddy procurement, has so far borrowed a staggering sum of Rs 15,000 crore to run the programme by way of upfront investment.

"This high volume of bank loan is mainly due to non-release of subsidy by the Department of Food and Public Distribution. OSCSC has pending claims towards provisional and advance subsidy of Rs 6,039 crore," said Swain.

Since all resources including the sanctioned limit of bank finances has been exhausted by the OSCSC, the pending subsidy may be released urgently as further paddy procurement from farmers will be severely affected, he added.

Swain also informed Goyal that the Food Corporation of India has asked the state government to limit the delivery of surplus parboiled rice of Odisha to the extent of 50 per cent of the last year delivery and not to accept any surplus in the form of parboiled rice during the Rabi season of the current Kharif Marketing Season (KMS) 2020-21.

"Odisha is primarily a parboiled rice 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 per cent of last year FCI delivery will have far-reaching adverse consequences for the state," he said.

(With IANS Inputs)

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