News Archive
June 2024

Rice procurement still a challenge for Siddaramaiah govt 

The state government cannot procure grains, and is dependent on FCI to procure rice. It can only source it from the Union government. 

Express News Service

BENGALURU: The Siddaramaiah government’s pride ‘Nudidante Nadeda Sarkara’ has not materialised for the rice distribution guarantee, thanks to a number of challenges in procurement, and other circumstances. Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, who has been a stickler for fulfilling poll promises made by the Congress, has had to rely on cash payout instead of rice. 

The Karnataka government had been working hard for about seven months to procure rice to fulfil its Anna Bhagya poll promise of 5kg rice per head, but a drop in output for the period ending December 31 has resulted in a 48lakh tonne shortfall of rice across the nation. With the market price of rice remaining high, the state may not be able to procure the required quantity for its PDS scheme and be content to dole out cash. 

DV Prasad, former chairman, Food Corporation of India (FCI), quoted statistics and explained to TNIE, “The situation looks grim, with a shortfall in rice surplus states. In Chhattisgarh, there was a drop from 51.6 lakh tonne to 38.5 lakh tonne, Telangana saw a drop from 37 lakh tonne to 27 lakh tonne. In Uttar Pradesh, procurement dropped from 27 lakh tonne to 23 lakh tonne, and in Madhya Pradesh, from 20.5 lakh tonne to 11.6 lakh tonne. The overall shortfall is about 48 lakh tonne, so it could be difficult for the state to procure rice and it may have to continue with cash transfer.”

The state government cannot procure grains, and is dependent on FCI to procure rice. It can only source it from the Union government. 

Food and Civil Supplies Minister K H Muniyappa tried several options, contacting rice millers, cooperatives and state governments, but has not been able to get the required quantity.

Time and again, he expressed confidence that he would get the requisite supplies, but encountered a number of hurdles — the FCI said it would not be able to give Karnataka the required stocks, and international price of rice increased. He held several meetings with stakeholders but could not procure the required quantity.

FCI and the Centre will have no problem procuring rice for PDS, but will in all probability, have no surplus rice to give to state governments for state-sponsored rice schemes, informed sources said. 

Opposition leader R Ashoka told TNIE, “This government is not doing anything in an organized and planned manner. The leaders did not ascertain whether they would be able to keep their word, but went ahead with promises to the people. They also claimed falsely that they have delivered their guarantees, but even now, they are struggling and this is the fate of all their schemes. The people will realise it soon.’’

JDS leader HD Kumaraswamy said, “People are abusing them in villages. They are not able to fulfil any of their guarantees. No guarantees is working in their favour for the parliamentary polls. They are under a delusion.’’ QR Code

Published Date: January 3, 2024

More News