Union Minister for Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution Piyush Goal on Friday stated that the central government has always been accommodative of the requests of Telangana state.
Goyal was replying to a question in the Rajya Sabha by Member of Parliament Dr K Keshava Rao.
When asked whether the Central Government plans to procure entire rice irrespective of type (raw, parboiled), the Minister replied that the Government of India has never rejected any request made by the Telangana government regarding the supply of rice and have always been accommodative to the requests of the state government.
"Over the last 3 years, procurement of rice in Telangana has increased from 52 Lakh Metric tons to 95 Lakh Metric Tons", the Union Minister said.
The Union Minister also clarified that the procurement of parboiled rice is based on the demand from the Central Pool and as other states did not have much demand for parboiled rice due to consumption preferences, the Government of India has been signing Memoranda of Understandings (MoU) with states accordingly.
The Minister stated in his oral response that in the MoU with Telangana there was a clear commitment from the state government that they would not supply parboiled rice in the future.
The Minister also confirmed that in the spirit of cooperation, the Union Government agreed to procure an additional 25 lakh metric tonnes of parboiled rice as a one-time adjustment against the initial commitment of 20 Lakh metric tons of par-boiled rice, bringing the total procurement of parboiled rice to 45 lakh metric tonnes in the state of Telangana.
In response to a supplementary question by TRS MP Suresh Reddy, the Union Minister stated that he had assured the Chief Minister of Telangana K. Chandrasekhar Rao that if there was still an additional amount beyond the 45 lakh metric tonnes of parboiled rice, the Union Government would be accommodative and procure it.
However, of the 45 Lakh Metric Tons of parboiled rice to be supplied, only 28 LMT has been supplied to the Government so far.
"The Government of Telangana still needs to supply 17 Lakh Metric Tons of parboiled rice and in spite of 5 extensions with the last one in October 2021, the state government has not been able to do so", the Union Minister said.
The Union Minister also requested the Telangana government to refrain from unnecessary politics in the matter of grain and to first procure 17 LMT parboiled rice to be sent in KMS 2020-21 and procure grain in line with the target set in KMS 2021-22 Kharif season so that the interest of farmers is protected. (ANI)