The Chief Minister K Rosaiah on Saturday directed the Department of Civil Supplies, FCI , Marketing and other departments concerned to see that maximum purchase centres are opened in all districts of the State as required for procurement of paddy in the present kharif season. He also directed the officials and FCI to ensure that the farmers get the Minimum Support Price under any circumstances.
Mr Rosaiah said that there should be no complaints regarding procurement of paddy or Minimum Support Price from the farmers at any cost. He has also asked the Railways to make available the required rakes for movement of paddy from the go-down for making available the required space. The Chief Minister also directed the Agriculture Marketing, Markfed and State Warehousing Corporation etc to see that new godowns are constructed and made available as required for the rabi season as well.He said that the required godown space should be available since a record food-grain production is expected in the State due to very good monsoon.
The Chief Minister asked the Civil Supplies Department and FCI to see that maximum purchase centres are opened in time through IKP Groups wherever needed. The Chief Minister was explained that during the current Kharif Marketing Season of 2009-2010, so far 8.12 lakh tonnes of rice (44.25 lakh MTs of raw rice and 23.86 lakh tonnes of boiled rice) has been procured. As far as procurement arrangements are concerned, under Minimum Support Price (MSP) operations for paddy, Kharif Marketing Season commences on 1.10.2010; Paddy starts arriving in the market from third week of October, 2010 and the production is estimated at 213.85 lakh tones.
In terms of rice, it is expected to be around 143.28 lakh tones. Officials informed that heavy arrivals of paddy are expected in this Kharif season. FCI, A P State Civil Supplies Corporation and the IKP Groups are in readiness to commence the Minimum Support Price (MSP) operations from 1st October, 2010 onwards and FCI and State agencies proposes to open 168 and 374 centres respectively, totalling 542 procurement centres.
The Chief Minister reiterated that all the Government agencies should ensure that there should be no hardship to the farmers in disposing of the paddy. The MSP for FAQ Paddy is Rs 1000 per quintal for Common variety and Rs.1030 per quintal for Grade ‘A’ variety; all the purchase centres including AMCs require to be fully equipped with the gunnies, paddy cleaners, driers, winnowing machines, calipers etc.
Mr Rosaiah directed that as has been the practice every year, wide publicity should be given for the purchase centre location, MSP, FAQ specifications and the schedule of dates for bringing paddy to the purchase centres from villages to avoid rush and excessive moisture content. Millers and traders should be directed not to purchase FAQ paddy at less than the MSP, for non-FAQ paddy also they should purchase with the quality cuts prescribed by the Government for this purpose. As far as mill levy operations, levy may continue to be 75 per cent; FCI would be the agent for collecting levy rice and proposed levy target for 2010-11kharif season is 90 lakh tones – 60 lakh tonnes of raw and 30 lakh tonnes of boiled rice. This is over and above 10 lakh tones (approx) expected to be delivered under the Custom Milled Rice.
The Chief Minister was informed that for effective procurement operations, the FCI has made an assessment of the arrivals and forgo-down space. FCI is reported to be having a clear vacant go-down space of 2.7 lakh tones as of date; FCI is having at present 23 lakh tonnes of boiled rice and 14 lakh tones of raw rice in their go-downs; procurement will begin from the third week of October, 2010 and it will be heavy from November, 2010 onwards; FCI has planned for movement of 5 lakh tonnes per month – 3 lakh tones to Kerala and Tamil Nadu and 2 lakh tones to Bihar and West Bengal. Besides, there will be about 3 lakh tonnes of rice for PDS and other schemes; in addition, FCI has also got an export order to Bangladesh from Kakinada for 3 lakh tones of boiled rice. Hence the FCI is in a comfortable position and there will not be any non-acceptance of levy rice by the FCI during the current kharif seasons and it would affect the purchase operations of paddy at MSP by the rice millers, the officials said.
The AP State Warehousing Corporation has also assured the Chief Minister that within 6 months or at the most by May, 2011, it would create godown space for 5.56 lakh tonnes of food grains by taking up own construction and also through private entrepreneurs.
Mr Rosaiah asked the APSWC to speed up the issue. Civil Supplies Minister Jupalli Krishna Rao, Agriculture Minister N Raghuveera Reddy, Marketing Minister Damodar Rajanarasima, Special Chief Secretary Agriculture, Rachel Chatterjee, Commissioner for Civil Supplies, Sanjay Jaju, Senior General Manager, FCI, Kalyan Chakravarthy, Commissioner, Agriculture, Sunil Sharma, Pincipal Secretary, Agriculture Marketing, Ratna Kishore, MD, APSWC, Balasubramaniam, MD, Markfed, Madhusudan Reddy, Secretary, Finance, T Satyanarayana, MD, AP Civil Supplies Corporation, Priyadarshini and other officials attended the meeting.