DC sets 24 hour deadline for mill owners to lift paddy

Paddy procurement centres to be set up at taluk level

Deputy Commissioner C Shikha, on Monday, set a 24-hour deadline for rice mills in the district to lift the paddy allotted by the government for hulling. “Or else, the erring rice mill owners will have to face stringent action within the ambit of law,” she has warned.

At a meeting of Rice Mill Owners Association, attended by assistant commissioners, tahsildars and Agriculture department officials, held at her office, the Deputy Commissioner said, “A total of 3.57 lakh quintals of paddy is stocked in the district following procurement from farmers at minimum support price (MSP) in 2013. Though the available stock is released for hulling at 94 rice mills in the district, following a government order, only 22 rice mills have abided by the order after entering into an agreement with the authorities concerned. A majority of 72 rice mills are yet to lift the stock, thus delaying hulling from the past two months.”

The Deputy Commissioner said, it will be difficult to stock the paddy further, as the procurement for the current year will begin shortly.

She instructed the rice mill owners to lift the paddy due for hulling before December 16. Otherwise, the DC warned of action against the rice mill owners, by directing the assistant commissioners and tahsildars to act under the Karnataka Rice Milling Regulation and Paddy Procurement Order, 1999, and Essential Commodities Act, 1955.

Delegation
Shikha promised a delegation of farmer leaders that measures are being initiated to open paddy procurement centres at taluk levels in the district.

Addressing the delegation, at a meeting held at her office, Shikha said, the officials were waiting for an order to initiate steps to procure paddy at the minimum support price (MSP) fixed by the government.

Sugarcane Growers Association president Kurbur Shanthakumar urged the Deputy Commissioner to procure paddy at the MSP of Rs 1,350 without delay. The menace of middlemen should be weeded out and their attempts to buy paddy from farmers directly from their field should be curtailed, he said.

General secretary of the association Attahalli Devaraj alleged that those owning agricultural equipment are collecting rent according to their whims and fancies for harvesting the crops, especially paddy.

The authorities concerned, especially the Regional Transport officials and the agriculture department, should check such swindlers, he said.

The farmers appealed to the DC to speed up the process to settle the arrears for sugarcane growers, as they said, Bannari Amman Sugar Factory is illegally deducting Rs 50 to Rs 100 per tonne of sugarcane purchased from farmers in the previous fiscal, amounting to Rs two crore.

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