Levy rice target reduced, millers call off strike

Levy rice target reduced, millers call off strike

Rice millers on Wednesday called off their strike following the State government’s decision to reduce the annual levy rice collection target to 2.5 lakh metric tonnes from five lakh metric tonnes.

Disclosing this to mediapersons after holding talks with the representatives of Rice Millers’ Association, Law Minister T B Jayachandra said the government had also decided to collect the levy rice in two installments – 1.5 lakh metric tonnes by March-end and the remaining 1 lakh metric tonnes between April and September – in order to lessen the burden on the millers.

The government, which is implementing the Anna Bhagya scheme (rice at Re one per kg), had fixed a levy target of five lakh metric tonnes per year. However, 1,800 rice mills across the State shut down protesting the government’s decision. The millers said they would incur heavy loss if they were forced to give five lakh metric tonnes. The government was hitherto collecting only about 1.5 lakh metric tonnes.

Besides, Jayachandra said, the government had agreed to increase levy procurement price from Rs 2,160 per quintal to Rs 2,400. The millers had demanded Rs 2,600 per quintal. The millers are also allowed to stock the rice up to 60 days, he added.

Rice Millers Association general secretary N R Srinivas said all mills would start functioning from Thursday.

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