Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh has decided to reduce paddy procurement in the state in a bid to curb losses, if the Centre doesn’t reconsider its directive to stop bonus on paddy procurement for farmers.
Amid protests by state BJP leaders, who are in favour of paying the bonus, Singh had written to PM Narendra Modi and Union Minister for Public Distribution and Consumer Affairs Ramvilas Paswan on the issue. The letter came after the Centre cautioned that if the state gives bonus, the Centre will limit procurement for Central pool only up to the requirements of PDS and other food-related schemes.
With no response, Singh is now preparing to cut his losses. Singh has put a cap on paddy procurement and decided that the government will procure only 10 quintal per acre from each farmer. He has also decided that farmers in the state can now sell paddy only during two months decided by the government. Singh has also made the registration process for paddy farmers more comprehensive.
In his letter to Modi last month, Singh had said that the state will be left with a “surplus of 30 lakh MT” in light of the Centre’s decision. While the steps taken by Singh would curtail the procurement to some extent, officials said it would still cross at least 60 lakh MT this year.
Meanwhile, Singh’s decision to reduce procurement has drawn sharp criticism from leaders of his own party such as Vishnu Deo Sai and Ramesh Bais.