The Centre on Tuesday said it is cooperating with all the states on paddy procurement with no exception and has been following a uniform and consistent policy to ensure the welfare of farmers.
In fact, the Telangana government is yet to submit its procurement estimate of rabi rice for 2021-22 to the Centre, along with packaging requirements, despite several reminders, it said. These remarks of a food ministry spokesperson came after Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao announced that the state government will procure rabi paddy and claimed that his Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) has "sufficiently" exposed the BJP-led NDA government for not agreeing to the demand and over its "wicked" anti-farmer attitude.
"For the welfare of farmers, the central government is cooperating with every state government, with no exception. We have a uniform and consistent approach to ensure welfare of farmers all over India, including Telangana," the food ministry spokesperson said. He asserted that the Centre is committed towards the welfare of farmers. The spokesperson further said the Union food ministry held a meeting with the states in February to discuss the arrangements for the procurement of the 2021-22 rabi rice. However, "the government of Telangana did not propose any procurement estimate for the rabi crop of 2021-22, along with packaging requirements", he added.
The Centre has issued multiple reminders to the Telangana government for submitting a proposal for the procurement of raw rice during the rabi season of 2021-22, he said. The procurement process across the country involves the states acquiring paddy from farmers and providing it to millers, who will then mill it. The milled rice is procured for the Public Distribution System and other welfare schemes. "The extra cost of milling is also borne by the Centre. The Centre remains committed to buying raw rice with its uniform policy across the country. This policy, which is already working effectively, is uniform and non-discriminatory, and farmers across the country benefit equally from this policy," the spokesperson added.