Hyderabad, Aug.3 (Hydnow): Congress MP N. Uttam Kumar Reddy on Wednesday alleged that the TRS Govt in Telangana and BJP Govt at the Centre have jointly destroyed the paddy farmers of Telangana.
Uttam Kumar Reddy in a media statement, informed that Union Minister of State for Rural Development, Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti, in a reply to a question raised by him in the Lok Sabha today, admitted that the Centre has drastically reduced the paddy procurement from Telangana State.
As per the statistics of procurement placed in the Lok Sabha by the Union Minister, as against 61.87 Lakhs Metric Tonnes of paddy procured during Rabi 2020-21, the Central Govt has procured just 28.96 MLTs of paddy in Rabi 2021-22. “By reducing the procurement by more than 50%, the BJP Govt tried to throttle the livelihood of lakhs of paddy farmers of Telangana. Further, by remaining a mute spectator, TRS Govt played a heinous role in destroying the paddy farmers,” he alleged.
In reply to Reddy’s question on whether the procurement of rice in the Rabi season crop of 2022 has been stopped from Telangana, the Union Minister admitted the rice receipt operations were suspended for a brief period from 6th to 19th July 2022 due to non-distribution of rice under PMKAY Phase-VI and non-action against default millers. “The BJP Govt is trying to mislead the people by saying that it did not stop procurement, but suspended it. The statistics clearly show that the procurement has reduced by more than half affecting lakhs of paddy farmers,” he said.
He strongly condemned Chief Minister K. Chandrashekhar Rao for not taking action against the rice millers who defaulted. “CM KCR must explain why no action was taken against the rice millers who procured paddy under CM’s custom milling and did not supply the rice. Why is that even till today KCR is not acting against the default of the rice millers who have acquired government paddy running to hundreds of crores of rupees? Was it done deliberately to provide the BJP Govt with an excuse to stop paddy procurement from Telangana? CM KCR must explain ration card holders were not supplied under the Prime Minister Gharib Kalyan Yojana, as mentioned by the Centre in the Lok Sabha in an answer today?” he asked.
The Congress MP said that the rice millers stockpiled the procured paddy amount to misappropriation of government funds. “The Union Minister also claimed that the State Government committed to taking action against defaulter millers. However, the action taken by the State Govt was not specified. Therefore, both BJP and TRS Govts must explain the crime committed by some rice millers and also action was taken against them,” he demanded.
Uttam said that both BJP and TRS Govts were equally responsible for the plight of lakhs of paddy farmers. He said many farmers committed suicide due to the non-procurement of paddy while lakhs of others fell into huge debt traps after they were forced to sell their produce to millers at prices lower than the Minimum Support Price. Therefore, he demanded a high-level enquiry into the default committed by the rice millers and their connection with the ruling TRS and BJP Govts. (Hydnow)
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