Last year the State government had procured 22 lakh metric tonnes of rice. This year around 16000 camps will be set up.
“We are deploying 900 civic volunteers who will help police during the rice procurement,” said Food & Supplies Minister Jyotipriya Mullick. The State government has also urged the FCI to procure rice for the state.
In addition to this the state government will also set up 1,000 special camps for procurement of paddy in areas that do not have rice mills.
The special camps will start functioning from 28 November, state Food and Supplies Minister Jyotipriya Mallick had announced on November 8.
The state Food Department will also undertake a door-to-door campaign from 1 to 15 December to open bank accounts for farmers. The bank account is required for remitting money to the farmers against the procurement of paddy.
The government had also decided to procure 35 lakh metric tons (MT) of paddy in the coming harvest season beginning from November at a minimum support price (MSP) of Rs 1,310 per quintal that has been fixed by the Centre. The procurement will be done by three state and three Central government agencies.
“On milling 35 lakh MT paddy we will get 22 lakh MT rice whereas the requirement of our public distribution system is 1.20 lakh MT. Till 31 October, we had a stock of 2.15 lakh MT rice and there is storage space for another 2.67 lakh MT. We will build 60 more godowns with a capacity to store three lakh MT and these will be commissioned by July next year,“ Mr Mallick had said.
He had also added that the government will not tolerate any middleman and FIRs will be lodged against any person who is found collecting paddy from the farmers at a price lower than the MSP even on the pretext that he will deliver it to some rice mill located at a distance.
In a related development, state Finance Minister, Amit Mitra had announced that the state and the Centre will give a joint subsidy to entrepreneurs setting up rice mills in 165 blocks in the state that currently lack one. Going by the Centre specified framework, the subsidy will be Rs 50 lakh for general areas and Rs 75 lakh for tribal areas; of this the state will bear 25 per cent and the remaining 75 per cent will come from the Centre.