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Govt agencies may procure 495 lakh tonnes of rice in 2020-21: Food Ministry

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Centre to amend Essential Commodities Act; deregulate pulses, onionNew Delhi, Sep 15 (IANS) Government agencies may set a new record in rice procurement as the Union Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution said on Monday that around 495.37 lakh metric tonnes (LMT) of rice has been estimated for procurement during the forthcoming Kharif Marketing Season 2020-21.

Previously, actual procurement of paddy (in terms of rice) was 420.22 LMT in KMS 2019-20, which was a record procurement, said the ministry in a statement.

As per the statement, Secretary, Department of Food & Public Distribution (DoFPD), Government of India, chaired a meeting of State Food Secretaries through video conference on September 11 to discuss the procurement arrangements for ensuing Kharif Marketing Season (KMS) 2020-21.

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Around 495.37 LMT of rice has been estimated for procurement during the forthcoming KMS 2020-21 (Kharif Crop) season which is 19.07 per cent more than the 416 LMT procurement estimate of KMS 2019-20 (Kharif Crop). In KMS 2019-20 (Kharif Crop), actual procurement of paddy (in terms of rice) was 420.22 LMT.

During ensuing KMS 2020-21, procurement estimates for Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra have jumped by 100 per cent and more, and for Madhya Pradesh, Telangana, Bihar and Jharkhand are higher by 50 per cent and more in comparison to KMS 2019-20, as per the statement.

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The leading states in terms of estimated procurement of rice are Punjab (113 LMT), Chhattisgarh (60 LMT) and Telangana (50 LMT) followed by Haryana (44 LMT), Andhra Pradesh (40 LMT), Uttar Pradesh (37 LMT) and Odisha (37 LMT), said the ministry.

In view of COVID-19, Secretary, DoFPD requested all states to take necessary steps to ensure social distancing during procurement operations. Other issues of states regarding food subsidy were also discussed during the meeting.

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–IANS

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