Bhubaneswar: Odisha Food Supply and Consumer Welfare Minister Ranedra Pratap Swain on Friday assured the state Assembly that the government will procure paddy from the registered farmers of the state. Making a statement in the house, Mr Swain said the paddy procurement process is on and will continue till March 31 next.
Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, he said, has directed to ensure that not a single registered farmer faces any problem in selling addy.
The Minister said the government is taking all steps for smooth procurement of paddy and is ready to lift the paddy of all the registered farmers. He said steps would be taken to procure paddy of any left out registered farmers if the members brought the matter to the notice of the government.
The functioning of the house was restored to normalcy today after it remained paralysed since March 12 over the opposition demand for lifting of paddy and treasury bench’s demand for an apology from Deogarha BJP MLA Subash Panigrahi for his attempt to commit suicide in the floor of the house.
The house functioned normally today after the Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik during a discussion with the agitating BJP members yesterday assured that the government will lift the paddy of the farmers.
Speaker S N Patro who had convened an all party meeting on Thursday announced that the Food supply minister will make a statement on the paddy procurement after the question hour today. Making the statement, the Minister said the government during the current Kharif season has so far procured 61.24 lakh MT of paddy worth Rs 11,441 crore from 1150 lakh farmers .
The paddy procured during the Kharif this season is 18 per cent higher than the corresponding period last year. The Minister said so far 100 PACs secretaries and other employees have placed under suspension and seven dismissed from service for their negligence in paddy procurement.
Two RMC Secretaries of Padampur and Chandbali have been suspended and direction has been issued to file criminal cases against them, Mr.Swain said. Criminal cases were also filed against two farmers of Gajapati and Bhadrak district for trying to sell their paddy manipulating documents, he added.
The Minister said procurement of paddy has restarted in certain pockets of Bolangir and Bargarh. The BJP Members, however, expressing their displeasure over the Minister’ s statement walked out in protest . Leader of Opposition P Nayak said “the Chief Minister has betrayed us”.
He said the Chief Minister yesterday assured to procure all paddy from farmers but there was no such assurance in the Minister’s statement who had only read out the statement made earlier in the house.
Congress Legislature Party Leader Narasingha Mishra said the media reported that the Chief Minister would attend the all party meeting but it did not happen He demanded the Speaker to convene an all party meeting.
While Mr Mishra was speaking the Speaker asked him to sit down and give others a chance to speak. As he continued to speak his microphone was disconnected. In protest the Congress members rushed to the well and shouted slogans. Mr Mishra also sat on the Reporter’s chair.
Parliamentary Affairs Minister Bikram Keshari Arukh said no one has said that the Chief Minister will attend the all Party meeting. The media report in this regard was not correct, he clarified. The Speaker then adjourned the house at 1205 hrs till 1215 hrs and called an all party meeting. The house was subsequently adjourned thrice till 1600 hrs.