Under attack for its move to halt paddy procurement two months ahead of schedule, Odisha government Monday said the procurement will continue in the state as long as farmers desire to sell their produces. Farmers in different parts of the state had protested the decision of the government last week to stop the process from February 28.
In a letter to collectors of different districts, Food Supplies and Consumer Welfare department asked them to visit paddy procurement centres (mandis) and take stern action in case of deliberate delay in procurement process by any official. The collectors have also been asked to take action in case of any irregularities are noticed during the paddy procurement process.
They were asked to keep the mandis open as long as farmers are willing to sell their paddy and directed Primary Agriculture Cooperative Society (PACS) officials to provide tokens to farmers on procuring their paddy, he said. The collectors have also been asked to take appropriate action against millers if they procure paddy from the farmers instead of procuring it from the mandis.
The earlier announcement by the Government to close paddy procurement process for kharif season from February 28 instead of April end evoked sharp criticism from farmers and others as a huge quantity of paddy are lying in the open in different mandis in the state..