Odisha government warns action on paddy procurement agencies for failure in MSP payment

BHUBANESWAR: The State Government has warned procurement agencies of stern action if they fail to ensure payment of Minimum Support Price (MSP) of paddy to farmers within 72 hours of sale.

The cooperative societies have been asked to upload purchase data and keep in readiness digital signature certificates so that payment can be made on time. The direction came in the wake of recommendations made by the Central Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices.

An official of Food Supplies and Consumer Welfare department said societies and millers found delaying uploading of purchase data and transit pass-cum-acceptance note will be penalised as per the norms.
The State has set a target to procure 55 lakh tonne of paddy (37 lakh tonne in terms of rice) during the current Kharif season. While the Grade-A variety of paddy will be procured at Rs 1,770 per quintal, the common variety will be purchased at Rs 1,750 per quintal.

Crop area of 48.42 lakh acre has been registered in the online portal of the department by 11.32 lakh farmers in 2612 PACS for sale of paddy. Nearly one lakh sharecoppers have enrolled with cooperative societies this time. The Cooperation department has been asked to ensure enrolment of more sharecroppers, marginal and small farmers through proactive engagement with the farming community.
Similarly, district Collectors have been instructed to arrange verification of land details furnished by sharecroppers through revenue or agriculture field functionaries to validate the claim of sharecropping.

“Cooperative societies have already been intimated to take steps for wide publicity on waiving out of provision for deduction towards personal consumption so that more farmers are enrolled in the procurement system. Officials neglecting the verification of bank guarantees will be dealt with sternly,” the official added.

During the last Kharif marketing season, 49.06 lakh tonne of paddy equivalent to 33.2 lakh tonne rice was procured by the State agencies of which 33.17 lakh tonne of custom milled rice has already been delivered and 1355 tonne of rice is outstanding against eight millers.

Statistics revealed that small and marginal farmers contributed 38 per cent and big farmers only two per cent to the State’s total procurement during the last Kharif season. The Government has decided yield rate of paddy at 19 quintal per acre for irrigated land and 13 quintal per acre for non-irrigated land.

While 308 blocks will participate in paddy procurement through an automated process, there will be no procurement in six blocks in view of lack of marketable surplus.

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