Hyderabad: The Centre has conceded the demand of the Telangana government to purchase more rice from the state during the ongoing kharif season. It enhanced the procurement target by 6 lakh metric tonnes (LMT), from 40 LMT to 46 LMT.
The department of food and public distribution under the Union ministry of food on Tuesday wrote to the state government to conveying the approval of the Centre to purchase more rice.
Besides, the Centre extended the deadline for the state to supply boiled rice from the previous rabi season to the Food Corporation of India by one month, till January 31, 2022. The Centre has been extending the deadline one month at a time since September.
The state was required to supply 62.52 LMTs of boiled rice to FCI in the previous rabi, of which it could supply only 35.97 LMTs due to a delay in milling and problems with storage.
With regard to the purchase of paddy grown in the kharif season, the Centre had fixed the target at 40 LMT. Chief Minister K. Chandrashekar Rao met Union food minister Piyush Goyal twice in New Delhi in September and requested him to enhance the target to 90 LMTs as the state has sowed paddy in over 60 lakh acres in kharif and output of 1.32 crore tonnes was expected.
The Centre did not respond to the requests. Following this, the TRS mounted pressure on the Centre by holding agitations in November and December across the state with all ministers, MPs, MLAs and MLCs participating.
The Chief Minister himself sat on a dharna at Indira Park in November.
The CM also sent a delegation of five ministers to Delhi to meet Goyal to demand enhancement of the kharif target and demand a written assurance in this regard.
They told Goyal that the government had met the 60 LMT procurement target set by the Centre for kharif and another 60 LMTs of paddy was lying in market yards and fields for procurement. Goyal remained non-committal to their request of purchase of more paddy, and the delegation returned from Delhi after staying for six days.
On Tuesday, the Centre sent a communication in writing enhancing the rice procurement target for kharif.