Bhubaneswar, Oct 10 (PTI) Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik Sunday urged Prime Minister Narenda Modi to issue a direction to the Department of Food and Public Distribution for withdrawal of restrictions on lifting of parboiled rice from the state for the 2021-22 kharif marketing season.

“… Your kind personal intervention is requested for issuing a direction to DFPD to accept the estimated surplus parboiled rice from the state for the next KMS. Further, reasonable time may also be given to the state to align itself with the requirement of DFPD,” Patnaik said in a letter to Modi.

The chief minister said Odisha became a decentralised procurement (DCP) state in KMS 2003-04. Since then, it has been undertaking minimum support price operations for procurement of paddy via decentralised mode, which has improved the outreach of MSP to the growers, he said.

The rice milled from the paddy procured is being used under the National Food Security Act and other welfare schemes of the Centre, and the surplus rice is delivered to the Food Corporation of India, Patnaik said.

In the upcoming KMS 2021-22, Odisha is estimated to procure 52 lakh MT of rice, he said, adding, the state’s own requirement of rice under all the schemes is about 24 lakh MT. This goes to indicate that the state will have a surplus of 28 lakh MT of rice out of which only 4 lakh MT will be raw rice, the CM said.

“But, the latest decision of the DFPD has put a question mark on lifting of the said surplus rice from the state… Non-lifting of the above quantity of surplus parboiled rice due to the restrictions imposed by DFPD has the potential of severely affecting the state’s paddy procurement operations.

“This will affect about 10 lakh farmers and put them in serious trouble, especially during this Covid pandemic situation,” Patnaik said.