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Centre paying no heed to Odisha’s demand under PSF




 Even as a Corpus Fund of Rs.500 crore is available as Price Stabilization Fund (PSF) with the Union Government, repeated requests by the Odisha Government to extend support of Rs.50 crore has gone unattended to.

Notably, the Union Government in 2014-15 created PSF to support market interventions for price control of perishable agri-horticulture products.

The State Government was supposed to set up State Level Price Stabilization Fund 50 percent of which was to be borne by the State Government and the rest would be extended by the Union Government.

Accordingly, Government of Odisha in 2015 in the Department of Food Supplies and Consumer Welfare created PSF with a corpus of Rs.100 crore to procure potato, onion and pulses after taking a detailed analysis about the requirement of funds.

While the Department of Food Supplies and Consumer Welfare was declared as nodal department for monitoring PSF, a Management Committee was formed with the Development Commissioner as its head.

With the corpus fund, the State Government planned to directly procure pulses from the farmers in selected market yards of Regulated Market Committees (RMC) and Primary Agricultural Cooperatives Societies (PACS).

Farmers are to be benefited by this move as it is aimed at stabilising the price fluctuation.

After setting up the PSF, the State Government presented the project proposal for availing a  grant of Rs.50 crore from the Union Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution.

However, due to bureaucratic wrangling which has been continuing for last two years, the State Government has not been able to receive the grant from the Union Government.

Recently, Minister Food Supplies and Consumer Welfare Surjya Narayan Patro called on Union Minister Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution, Ram Vilas Paswan and urged him to release the grant.

In spite of the promise made by the Union Minister for releasing the grant, the State Government is yet to receive any, admit senior officials in the Department of Food Supplies and Consumer Welfare.

It may be mentioned here that project proposals have been presented several times to the Centre pressing for release of grants.

Time and again senior officials have moved to the Union Ministry for releasing grant worth Rs.50 core, but under some pretext or other Centre is just not releasing the grant, admit officials.

Very recently the State Government has approached the Centre yet again to release the grant of Rs.50 crore to start procurement operation of pulses and other agri-horticulture commodities, said sources.






Editorial

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