Odisha rice mill owners demand hike of milling charge and release of arrear
The millers have submitted a memorandum to the states Food and Consumer Welfare and Cooperative minister S N Patro here on Saturday evening, Ganjam District Rice Mill Owners Association (GDRMOA) secretary, Santosh Sahu said Monday.
Owners of rice mills in Odisha's Ganjam district have demanded increase of milling charge from Rs 10 to Rs 30 per quintal and release of arrear amounting to around Rs 5 crore before start of the paddy procurement this year.
The paddy procurement is scheduled to start from December 15 in the district. The millers have submitted a memorandum to the states Food and Consumer Welfare and Cooperative minister S N Patro here on Saturday evening, Ganjam District Rice Mill Owners Association (GDRMOA) secretary, Santosh Sahu said Monday.
"We have discussed our problem with the minister and requested him to solve these before the commencement of procurement of paddy this year," he said. Sahu said the government had provided Rs 10 per quintal for milling charge of paddy and the rate was not revised since last two decades.
"Increase of the milling charge is urgently needed as the electricity tariff changed during the period. Moreover, the transport and labour charges have also increased substantially," Sahu said adding the milling charge should be fixed at Rs 30 per quintal of paddy.
Since the milling charge is fixed by the Central government, we urged the minister that the state government should take up the matter with the Centre, he said.
"The minister has assured us that he will write to the Central government for enhancement of milling charge," said Sahu. The millers have also sought transfer of mandi (paddy procurement center) handling charge from the primary agriculture cooperative societies (PACS) to the millers and to release the amount of new gunny bags purchased by the millers in recent years.
"The gunny bags are supposed to be provided by the government. As the government did not provide the gunny bags sometimes, millers purchased these on their own for timely transportation of the commodity," he said.
They have not got the prices of gunny for last two years. Moreover, the security deposits of 53 millers in the districts which were pending with the government for last ten year should be released immediately, the association demanded. The security deposit of each miller was Rs 25,000 pending with the government, he said.
Millers, however, assured the minister that they will participate in the paddy procurement for Kharif season. Last year, as many as 370 millers in the district had participated in the procurement process, sources said.
(With inputs from agencies.)