Raipur. Food Minister Amarjeet Bhagat has directed the officials of his department to ensure storage of adequate rice for distribution under Universal PDS in view of scanty rainfall in the state, during a meeting on Wednesday. He reviewed the status of disposal of cases related to paddy purchased from farmers in the Kharif year 2019-20 and 2020-21, custom milling and supply of fixed quota of rice to FCI and Chhattisgarh Civil Supplies Corporation.
The officials of the civil supplies corporation informed the Minister that ration of two months is stored for universal PDS while there should be stored for three months as per guideline. In some districts, storage has been for only one or one and a half months, the officials informed the Minister.
The Minister directed the MARKFED officials for providing rice for storage for one month and asked the officials to ensure districts facing a shortage of ration get the same in time.
The officials informed the Minister that this year 92.02 lakh metric tonne paddy was purchased out of which 91.32 lakh metric tonne paddy have been lifted and the remaining 70000 metric tonne paddy were to be lifted.
About 24000 metric tonnes are left in committees of Kawardha district, 16000 metric tonnes in Mahasamund and 12000 metric tonnes in committees of Rajnandgaon district. Continuous monitoring is being done by the department for the off-take of the remaining paddy and it will be done by September 10. Bhagat said that paddy will be procured for Kharif year 2021-22 in the coming months. Therefore, the disposal of paddy purchased in the last year should be completed through monitoring.
Officials informed the Minister that against the deposit of 24 lakh metric tonnes of rice in the Food Corporation of India, the deposit of 17.77 lakh metric tonnes has been done and against 30.75 lakh metric tonnes, 25.44 lakh metric tonnes of rice has been deposited in Civil Supplies Corporation.
Bhagat also reviewed the status of gunny bags for paddy procurement in Kharif marketing year 2021-22. Officials said that about 5.25 lakh bales of gunny bags would be required for the purchase of paddy this year. The Central Government has given consent to supply 1.79 lakh bales of gunny bags for the production of rice through the Jute Commissioner. Gunny bags will also be taken from ration shops and millers. Potential shortage of gunny bags 1.61 lakh bales of gunny bags are planned to be filled through open tender through Jute-HDPE bags. Minister said that the state government under the leadership of Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel is committed to buy paddy from farmers at support price.
Food Department secretary Topeshwar Verma, Special Secretary Manoj Soni, Managing Director of MARKFED Kiran Kaushal, Managing Director of State Civil Supplies Corporation Niranjan Das and other senior officers were present in the meeting.