Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel accompanied by his Cabinet colleagues Ravindra Choubey and Amarjeet Bhagat on Thursday met Union Minister for Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare Narendra Singh Tomar and Union Minister for Food Ram Vilas Paswan in New Delhi and urged them to procure rice from Chhattisgarh for the Central pool.
Baghel also sought the Centre’s support in encouraging sale of bio ethanol in Chhattisgarh.
Chhattisgarh Agriculture and Water Resources Minister Ravindra Choubey and Food Minister Amarjeet Bhagat were present during the meeting.
The Chief Minister requested the Union Minister to relax Centre’s policy to make provision to procure 32 lakh metric tonnes of rice from Chhattisgarh for Central pool in larger interest of farmers.
It is noteworthy that according to decision taken by Central government, rice will not be procured from state governments that provide bonus against paddy procurement at support price.
But despite the decision, the provision was relaxed in previous two years and rice was being procured from Chhattisgarh for central pool.
Keeping this in view, Chhattisgarh Government has requested Prime Minister to relax the provision for year 2019-20 too and procure 32 lakh metric tons of rice from Chhattisgarh.
Baghel informed that it is estimated that over 85 lakh metric tons of rice will be procured this year and the state would have surplus rice.
The chief minister also urged the Centre to provide approval for production of bio ethanol from the surplus paddy procurement in the Kharif season 2019-20.
He said this would encourage investment in the field of bio-fuel. Official sources informed that the Union Minister assured Baghel that the Centre will take necessary steps to promote the State Government’s investment policy in the field of bio fuel.