Telangana’s request for an extension to mill its kharif season paddy has been rejected by the center

The deadline for Telangana to mill rice to order and deliver it to the central pool for the kharif season of 2021–2022 has not been extended by the center. The deadline for processing rabi paddy from the season of 2021–22 has been extended, though. In order to keep up with the increased procurement, it has proposed a plan of action and asked the State government to improve its capacity for milling rice.

The Union Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food, and Public Distribution claimed in two different letters to the State Government that it had provided “adequate extensions” for the milling of backlog paddy supplies starting in 2021–2022, in order to be sent to the Food Corporation of India. The State Government’s request for a further extension of the milling time cannot be granted, the ministry stated. The FCI stopped taking rice last year, claiming irregularities in the milling system, leaving the State with nearly 50 lakh tonnes of unmilled paddy.

After the FCI removed the limits, milling was able to resume after a break of more than six weeks. Huge backlogs were caused by the cascading effect. 44.40 lakh tonnes of rice have already been given by the State. The Central pool for the kharif season of 2021­­–2022, leaves a balance of 2.64 lakh tonnes. The State has delivered 24.80 lakh tonnes during the 2021–2022 rabi season, leaving a balance of 9.26 lakh tonnes. The deadline for milling and delivering paddy from the rabi season of 2021–2022 has been extended to April 30, 2023, according to a supplementary letter from the Ministry.

“That will be the State’s final chance to provide rice to the Central pool. No more extensions will be granted, it stated. Additionally, it requested that the State Government investigate rice recycling (PDS rice returned to the Central pool through questionable market practices). It requested that the FCI thoroughly monitor the timely delivery of balanced rice and do an “age test” on the given rice to look for fraud.

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