Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao has requested Prime Minister Narendra Modi to reconsider the Centre’s decision that the state governments should not impose any levy on rice from the millers with effect from October one this year.
The Chief Minister also suggested to continue to at least have the existing 25 per cent levy with a view to safeguarding the interests of the farmers to get remunerative prices for certain special varieties and at certain periods when the millers have good market outside the state or country as the case may be.
According to a state government release, it has been informed by the Centre that with a view to ensuring payment of remunerative prices to farmers at MSP or above and to improve outreach of procurement system to the farm gate for their better coverage, it was decided that the state governments should not impose any levy on rice from the millers with effect from October one.
The Chief Minister mentioned in a letter to the Prime Minister that Telangana is a paddy producing state and the practice has been that normally the millers purchase paddy from the farmers competing with each other at remunerative rates for delivering levy and utilising the levy free rice.
He also said that as long as the millers pay them the remunerative prices (over and above the MSP), they will not offer to the government agencies at MSP.
Only when they are offered less than MSP, they choose to deliver paddy at purchase centres opened by government agencies.
Rao said Telangana government is strictly monitoring whether the millers are paying MSP to the farmers before they deliver rice under levy.
He pointed out that with the decision to remove the levy system, it is possible that the millers may not offer remunerative prices, as they normally do.
Government agencies can assure the farmers MSP only and not remunerative prices.
“This may cause hardship to the farmers as removal of levy will deny them of the remunerative prices,” he said.