Telangana govt forms special teams to recover PDS rice stocks from rice millers

Many millers have not returned milled rice to the government for the public distribution system (PDS) and the state government has constituted special inspection teams to recover the stocks.

The teams with 25 officials from the vigilance and enforcement and civil supplies departments Would inspect the mills from Saturday, starting with districts where they owe huge stocks to the government.

The government procures paddy from farmers at minimum support price (MSP) in both the kharif and rabi seasons every year and sends it to the rice mills. To finance the purchase, the government borrows from banks.

The milled rice is handed over to the Centre’s Food Corporation of India (FCI), which distributes it through the PDS. After receiving the rice stocks, the FCI reimburses the MSP amount to the state government which then repays the banks.

Several rice mills are yet to handover rice stocks to the Food Corporation of India. Some rice mills have backlogs of as long as two years. This is causing huge losses to the government.

Also read: TS govt-Centre headed for another Rabi paddy procurement showdown

It also came to the notice of the government that a few rice mills had diverted stocks to the open market and minted money. The government asked the teams to inspect how much paddy was allocated to each mill, the quantity of rice it should deliver after milling and how much each individual establishment had actually delivered.

TS Civil Supplies Corporation (CSC) chairman Sardar Ravinder Singh held a review meeting with senior officials here on Friday to chalk out action plan to recover rice stocks arrears from mills.

He said the government would not accept rice from the millers for PDS since the CSC had procured sufficient stocks; the millers should hand over the rice to the FCI.

Singh said the government would collect 25 per cent penalty in the form of cash from millers who failed to handover stipulated rice stocks to the FCI.

Singh stated that the government had imposed a penalty on 118 rice millers who defaulted on delivery of rice stocks for 2019-20 and directed officials to collect the penalty amount immediately.

This article has been republished from The Deccan Chronicle.