By Vadrevu Srinivas
Rice Millers from the state want to exert pressure on the Central government to release Rs 1,500 crore that Food Corporation of India (FCI) owes to them.
Andhra Pradesh State Rice Millers Association (APSRMA) president Dwarampudi Veerabhadra Reddy told the media here on Saturday that Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy has given clear instructions to officials not to stop payments to rice millers. But the FCI has remained silent on the Rs 1,500 crore that remains pending.
He said that a delegation will meet Central government officials seeking an immediate release of FCI dues.
Meanwhile, he urged opposition parties and farmers not to blame rice millers at the time of purchasing paddy. He said that there was now no direct connection between farmers and rice millers as Rythu Bharosa Kendras register the paddy and allot the custom milling to rice mills.
During the rainy season, the government has directed them to purchase paddy without considering the moisture and broken percentage. Now the farmers bring the paddy directly to the rice mills as per the guidance of RBKs and a custodian officer, appointed for each rice mill, will oversee processes like cutting and moisture contents.
On the allegations of Telugu Desam chief N. Chandrababu Naidu that rice millers were collecting extra money or paddy per bag, Reddy said that opposition parties are aware of the entire process but only raking it up as elections are round the corner.
Association’s East Godavari president Bulimohan Reddy said that there were large quantities of heavy broken grains in the paddy this season and the government allowed 30 per cent broken. He said that in order to compensate it, three kg of paddy per quintal has to be given to RBKs or rice mills. In some instances, farmers paid money to rice millers of their own accord. But the officials made it clear that rice millers should not collect any money from farmers and take the paddy as per norms. Although rice millers are taking paddy in the presence of a custodian officer, many of them want the presence of mandal tahsildars in order to avoid litigation.
This article has been republished from The Deccan Chronicle