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Minister warns rice millers against exploiting farmers


 State Food Supplies and Consumer Welfare Minister Surya Narayan Patro today warned rice millers of stringent action if found purchasing paddy from farmers below minimum support price (MSP).

The minister was briefing media persons after reviewing the preparations for kharif paddy procurement at Revenue Divisional Commissioner's (central division) office here. "People who purchase paddy from farmers will have to pay the fixed MSP of Rs 1,550 per quintal. We do not have any objection if someone pays more than the MSP. But if anybody tries to pay less than the MSP, he will invite action as per the provisions of Essential Commodities Act of 1955", Patro said.

The farmers having accounts in cooperative banks will get their payments within 24 hours and others within three days, he said. The State has decided to procure 53 lakh tonnes of paddy during the current kharif season and a quarter of this quantity will come from districts  that fall under the central division, including Cuttack, Jajpur, Kendrapara, Jagatsinghpur, Mayurbhanj, Balasore and Nayagarh, Patro added.

Like previous year, the entire procedure of paddy procurement will also be done through Primary Agricultural Cooperative Societies (PACS), sources said. The review meet was attended by principal secretaries Veer Bikram Yadav and Ranjana Chopra along with collectors of all the ten districts under the division. Revenue Divisional Commissioner D V Swamy asked the district collectors to ensure that paddy procurement is conducted in a fair manner, without putting farmers into trouble.

EDITOR : Bijoy Ketan Mishra
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