Karimnagar: The Centre is discriminating against the state by placing restrictions on procurement of food grains, civil supplies minister Gangula Kamalakar alleged on Tuesday.
Speaking to the media, Kamalakar said that last year, the Centre had signed a memorandum of understanding to purchase boiled rice, but it informed the state government in January that it would not do so. The Centre has informed the state that it is going to procure only 25 lakh metric tonnes of rice. What could the state government do with the remaining 37 lakh metric tonnes, Kamalakar asked.
“When the Centre is procuring all the food grains produced in northern states, why it is discriminating against the TS government? Is Telangana state not a part of India? Are the farmers here not producing quality food grains,” he said.
He said the government was expecting a harvest of around 1.45 lakh MT of food grains during the Kharif season. THe Centre said it would purchase only 60 lakh MT. “The state is not begging the Centre to procure food grains, it is a constitutional obligation on the part of the Centre. No state has the capacity to store huge quantities of food grains.”
Fixing of the minimum support price (MSP), storage of food grains, procurement of food grains and their transportation are the responsibilities of the Centre, he stressed.
The Vajpayee-led NDA government had, even though it held a surplus of 70 lakh MT of foodgrains, continued normal procurement, he said.
The minister appealed to the BJP state chief Bandi Sanjaykumar and Union minister Kishan Reddy to exert pressure on the central government for purchase of the food grains produced here and urged them to do justice to the Telangana farmers.