Rice mill owners threaten closure if dues are not paid

Rice mill owners threaten closure if dues are not paid

The Karnataka State Rice Millers’ Association (KSRMA) has threatened to shutdown operations if the State government does not pay Rs 62 crore due to them.

KSRMA executive president N R Vishwaradhya said that the association had decided in its executive committee meeting that a one-week ultimatum will be served on the government for paying them the dues.

“If the government does not resolve the crisis, we will convene a general body meeting. We may explore the option of shutting down operations,” said Vishwaradhya.

The KSRMA blamed that the State government made an absolute mess of things by first asking them to produce and supply 2.5 lakh tonnes of rice, and later restricting the quantity to only one-lakh metric tonnes.

“Most of the rice millers have bought jute bags with the government specifications on them. Now, both rice and gunny bags cannot be used by us in the open market as no one buys them,” said Vishwaradhya.

KSRMA secretary N Srinivas Rao said the rice supplied to the government was coarse and less polished than the variety available in the open market.  The rice millers are incurring a loss of about Rs 300 to Rs 500 per quintal now. Of the around 1,600 rice mills in the State, more than 80 are on the verge of closure, he said.