Opposition BJP and Congress members on Tuesday came down heavily on the State Government, saying “failure” of paddy procurement has lead to distress sale and forced farmers to take to the streets in the entire western Odisha.
However, the Government refuted the charges saying paddy procurement has started in the State and payments are being made in a transparent manner.
Initiating a discussion on a concerned Adjournment Motion, BJP member Jaya Narayan Mishra expressed strong resentments, saying farmers have staged agitations in front of Sambalpur Collector’s office and MLAs’ houses with tractors loaded with paddy bags since Monday as the Government has failed to procure paddy from them.
“The token system of paddy procurement is very faulty. Millers are taking advantage of delay in paddy procurement. Farmers have suffered heavy losses due to non-procurment,” alleged Mishra.
He demanded that the token system be removed soon and district committees given authority to procure all paddy (with limits of 13 quintal per acre of non-irrigated and 19 quintal per acre of irrigated land) from famers.
BJP members Nauri Nayak and Mukesh Mahaling too made same demands and urged the Government to procure paddy at scheduled MSP at the earliest.
Congress MLA Santosh Singh Saluja questioned the list of registered farmers and the Government’s target of procuring paddy from farmers during the current year.
“When the Government had procured 65.5 lakh metric tonne of paddy from 10.11 lakh registered farmers in 2018-19, it is not understood how the Government has set a target to procure 60 lakh MT paddy from 12.35 registered farmers during the current year,” asked Saluja.
Alleging that the Government has completely failed in procuring paddy, he demanded that the Government remove the token system and procured all paddy and make direct payment to farmer soon.
Congress Legislative Leader Narasingha Mishra slammed both the State and Union Governments for not procuring paddy at right prices (cost of production plus profit) from farmers.
“While famers spend Rs 2,430 per production of paddy per acre of land, it is disappointing that paddy is being procured at much lesser prices,” alleged Mishra.
He alleged that there has been a scam of thousands of crores of rupees in paddy procurement sector in the State.
BJD members like Kishore Mohanty, Dhruba Charan Sahu, Kishore Nayak and Sarada Nayak refuted the charges, saying procurement through PPass system and payment to famers’ bank accounts are being done in transparent manner.
In his reply, Food Supplies and Consumer Welfare and Cooperation Minister said the Governemnt has targeted to procure 60 lakh metrice tonne of paddy during the current Khariff and Rabi season. Paddy procurement has started in the State. The Government is committed to procure paddy in a transparent and efficient manner, he said.
Expressing dissatisfaction over the Minister’s reply, BJP members staged a walkout.
Following the Minister’s reply, the Speaker disallowed the Adjournment Motion.
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