Telangana mulls rice sale to K’taka & TN, rake in moolah to reduce debt burden

After the previous BRS government did not accede to the requests of Karnataka and Tamil Nadu to sell them rice, the new Congress government in Telangana is now contemplating selling rice to both the states.Senior officials felt that huge quantities of rice worth Rs 18,000 crore lying with rice millers without security or bank guarantee from them could come in handy for the government to sell the stocks to neighbouring states at a higher price and make a good profit.


“We want to bring out a mechanism that will help us supply this rice for local consumption as well as sell it within the country. We are working out the modalities. A decision on this will be taken very soon,” said a government source.

Officials explained that by resorting to sale of extra rice stocks to other states, Telangana’s debt burden will at least come down. “We have surplus quantities even after local consumption. Rice sale can get us some moolah. We are also trying to effect this sale transparently. We are looking at technicalities involved in the process of sale of rice,” the source told TOI.
Karnataka had sought rice from Telangana after it failed to get extra rice quota from the Centre. Also, Karnataka Congress, before coming to power in the May assembly elections, had promised to give five kg extra free rice to ration card holders but struggled to manage with the available quota after its government took over the reins.

Tamil Nadu too had urged Telangana to sell rice, but the former BRS government did not respond.

Civil supplies minister N Uttam Kumar Reddy, after a review meeting with senior officials, said the civil supplies corporation had incurred a loss of 11,000 crore and was reeling under a debt burden of 56,000 crore. “We are planning to bring back transparency in the corporation. The department was forced to get loans with off-budget guarantee provided by the state government,” a source said.

The former BRS government said that Food Corporation of India’s norms would not permit sale of rice and that the Centre will have to give its permission.

This article has been republished from The Times of India.

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