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Telangana CM KCR, TRS leaders sit dharna to protest against Central Govt over paddy procurement issue

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Hyderabad, Nov 18: Telangana Chief Minister and TRS chief K Chandrashekhar Rao (KCR) along with MPs, MLAs, ministers and other party leaders held dharna at Indira Park on Thursday against the Centre over the issue of paddy procurement.

Telangana CM KCR, TRS leaders sit dharna to protest against Central Govt over paddy procurement issue

KCR on Wednesday wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, urging the Centre to direct the Food Corporation of India (FCI) to confirm the target of rice procurement from the state during the ensuing Rabi season, among others.

Rao alleged that certain policies of the FCI creating confusion in the minds of farmers, as well as state governments, like the procurement target not being fixed for the entire year in one go and procurement not keeping pace, though production was increasing year by year.

In the letter, the Telangana CM claimed that it was becoming difficult for states to plan an appropriate cropping pattern and explain the same to farmers. For instance, though rice production in Telangana during Kharif 2020-21 was 55.75 lakh metric tons (LMT), the procurement was only 32.66 LMT, which is 59 per cent of the production. This was less than the 78 per cent procured in Kharif 2019-20. Such wide variations in procurement levels do not allow the state to implement a rational cropping pattern, Rao said.

In this regard, the CM had met Union Minister for Food and Public Distribution Piyush Goyal in September this year and requested that the annual target for procurement be fixed immediately, but even after 50 days, no policy decision has been taken or communicated to him, he said.

Hence, he requested the Centre to direct FCI to complete procurement of the balance 5.00 LMTs rice produced in Rabi 2020-21 and to enhance the target beyond 40 LMTs for rice procurement during the ongoing Kharif 2021-22 to 90 per cent of production as done in Punjab, KCR said in the letter, urging that the target of rice procurement from the state during the ensuing Rabi season be confirmed. PTI

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