The state government has questioned the role of Food Corporation of India (FCI) after the Centre owned body procured 40,000 metric tonne of paddy from the farmers in last 10 months in comparison with its average procurement of 4-5 lakh metric tonne during this period.
State Food and Supply minister Jyotipriya Mullick called the move as “politically motivated” after there was a sharp decline in the procurement of paddies by the FCI from the state.
Secretary of the Food and Supply department Anil Verma will visit Delhi to raise the matter with the
Centre. It was learnt that he would discuss on private entrepreneur guarantee scheme.
Some, however, termed this move as the double-standards of the Central government which has been instrumental in FCI’s decision to lower the procurement of the paddies from Bengal.
It was learnt that the senior officials of the state food and supply department will strongly protest against the FCI’s recent move which would impact the lives of the poor farmers.
FCI buys 4-5 lakh metric tonne of paddies from the farmers in the state over a period of 10 months.
But the farmers have been deprived mostly in last two years as the FCI refused to buy paddy from them. The state government has bought the 38 lakh metric tonne of paddy from the farmers this year. FCI buys paddies from West Bengal and exports them to other states.
It has also been alleged that the allocation of Kerosene for West Bengal has been reduced by the Centre. Earlier the state used to get 80,262 kilo litre of Kerosene from the Centre, but now it is getting 70,100 kilo litter.
As a result of which one person earlier used to get one litre of kerosene but now he/she is getting 550/650/750 ml of kerosene. It may be mentioned that the Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had earlier written to the Centre to increase the allocation but the Centre is yet to take any steps in this regard.
Some, however, alleged that the Centre had cut short West Bengal’s quota allocation which was being supplied to some other states.
Meanwhile, state food supply department has ordered a probe into an incident in which paddy worth Rs 6 crore were stolen from a godown at Sonapur area of North Dinajpur. The department has asked the police to take action against those who were involved in the crime. The incident of stealing of huge amount of paddies has sparked tension in the area.