Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel has written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to urge him for immediate necessary permission to ensure smooth paddy procurement in Kharif marketing season 2020-21 in the state.

"Due to lack of permission for procurement from the central government, the system is getting clogged due to non-lifting of paddy at various procurement centres in Chhattisgarh. It will delay storage of new paddy, due to which already stored paddy too is likely to be damaged," he said in the letter.

Baghel pointed out that delay in paddy procurement would have an adverse impact on the livelihood of 21.52 lakh farmers registered in Chhattisgarh.

The permission for the delivery of paddy purchased at MSP to the Food Corporation of India for the central pool after milling is still awaited from the Department of Food and Public Distribution, government of India.

In his letter, the Chief Minister claimed he had earlier requested the Union Food Minister to issue the necessary permission through several letters and telephonic conversations but it had not been received so far.

Baghel also sought time for a meeting with Prime Minister along with his Cabinet members.

The Chief Minister said that shortage of gunny bags was also hampering the paddy procurement process.

"The state had demanded 3 lakh bales of gunny bags through the Jute Commissioner, government of India, but the state was allotted only 1.45 lakh bales of gunny bags. Out of these, only 1.05 lakh bales of gunny bags have been received," Baghel added.

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Baghel said that in the Kharif marketing season 2020-21, the Centre had given in-principle approval to the Chhattisgarh government to procure 60 lakh metric tons of paddy.

Thereafter, the state started purchasing paddy at minimum support price from December 1, 2020. Till now, about 47 lakh tons had been procured from 12 lakh farmers.

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