HYDERABAD: Finance Minister T Harish Rao, on Friday, lambasted Union Minister of State for Home Affairs G Kishan Reddy for the latter’s ‘double standards’ on paddy procurement in the State. In a statement released to the media here on Friday, Harish recalled that the Food Corporation of India (FCI) had clearly stated that it would not accept paddy for above an MSP of `1,888 per quintal.
Even if the government wanted to pay the paddy farmers more, the conditions laid by the FCI do not allow it to do the same. Harish released a copy of the FCI order again on Friday. Even though it is the FCI that has ordered the States not to pay not the paddy farmers even a single rupee above the MSP, Kishan is blaming the government for not procuring paddy for higher rates, Harish alleged. Meanwhile, he dared Kishan to see that the FCI withdraw its letter on paddy procurement.
Pointing out that the paddy production in the State was 87.8 lakh tonnes, Harish said Telangana required only 26 lakh tonnes for its consumption. “If the Centre does not take the remaining around 60 lakh tonnes, then what would the fate of the farmers be,” Harish asked.
Meanwhile, Kishan said on Thursday since it was the State that encouraged ryots to raise fine paddy by assuring that the State authorities would procure the entire produce, it was the responsibility of State government to ensure the same.