With mills brimming with paddy stocks, Telangana mulls to auction 10 lakh tonnes
Saddled with 94 lakh tonnes of paddy that is choking over 2,600 mills in the State, the Telangana government seems to have decided to go for an auction to reduce the burden of the unmanageable stocks. The State government is getting ready to sell at least 10 lakh tonnes of paddy soon.
The decision comes in the wake of incessant rains causing extensive damage to the paddy stocks in the open areas.
Traders and millers have welcomed the move. Stating that it would ease the situation and save them from the hassle of safekeeping the stocks, they wanted the government to actually increase the quantity of paddy to be auctioned significantly.
“The State must dispose of at least 17-18 lakh tonnes immediately. After that, they should line up another 20 lakh tonnes to sell in the auction,” Shravan Kumar, a trader from Nizamabad, told BusinessLine.
The State began to build the stocks after its long-drawn tussle with the Centre over the procurement. The aggregate stock of 94 lakh tonnes includes stocks from the last three seasons.
“With the State producing record quantities of paddy, the State government has been under pressure to procure. The produce from the last rabi is a case in point,” said a miller, who requested anonymity.
Union government blamed for the mess
With a good chunk of the stocks exposed to rains and flooding, Telangana Civil Supplies Minister Gangula Kamalakar held an emergency meeting with millers to discuss ways to get out of the crisis.
He attributed the mess to the Union government, saying procurement from the State had been stopped by the Centre for over a month.
Seeing discrepancies and lack of transparency in the mills across the State, the Union government has put a full stop to lifting of the rice, leaving the mills brimming with the paddy stocks.
The Federation of South Indian Rice Millers Association has appealed to the Union government to clear the hurdles for the lifting of custom-milled rice from the mills and help reduce the losses.
“We can mill whatever the stocks that we receive from the State government after it procures the commodity from farmers,” said T Devender Reddy, President of the Association.
“An aggregate produce worth ₹18,000 crore is lying in the mills. We expect more than one crore tonnes of paddy in the next sixty days. Unless the Food Corporation of India (FCI) helps in clearing the existing stocks, it will be very difficult for us to manage the situation,” he said.
July 17, 2022