A delegation of Biju Janata Dal (BJD) MPs on Monday met Union Minister Piyush Goyal in New Delhi and demanded early release of pending food subsidy dues of Rs 14,292.51 crore.
The delegation of BJD members of both the houses of Parliament has also demanded release Rs 6,187 crore towards the additional interest borne by the Odisha State Civil Supplies Corporation (OSCSC) till November 2022 due to the delay in release and short-release of subsidy by the Central government.
Out of the total dues, Rs 11,689.21 crore pending towards provisional food subsidy and Rs 2,603.30 crore towards advance subsidy, the MPs said in their memorandum submitted to Goyal.
“We, the MPs of BJD, as public representatives from Odisha, and in the interests of the lakhs of farmers of Odisha, especially those from western Odisha; we request you to kindly release Rs 14,292.51 crore of pending food subsidy to Odisha,” they said.
Notably, during the last session of Parliament, in July last, the BJD MPs had met Goyal over the same demand. However, the Centre is yet to take any step to release the pending food subsidy dues to Odisha.
Meanwhile, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has also targeted the BJD government over mismanagement in procurement of paddy.
Holding a press conference here, Odisha BJP general secretary Prithviraj Harichandan alleged that the entire paddy procurement system in the state is being handled by the millers and the state government has turned mute spectator as it does not have any sympathy for the farmers.
Though the farmers are staging protests over the same issue every year, the BJD government has not taken any step till now, he said.
This year, the mandis (paddy procurement yard) have been opened 15 days late in western Odisha. However, as the by-poll for Padampur assembly segment was there, mandis have opened on time in that particular area, said the BJP leader.
Due to delay in opening of mandis, the farmers of western Odisha have been forced to sell their paddy to the middlemen of Chhattisgarh with much lower than the MSP fixed by the Narendra Modi government, he alleged.
Stating that the situation remained same in the coast belt of Odisha. The brokers of Andhra are lifting paddy from the region, alleged Harichandan.
He said that BJD leaders will submit memorandums to all sub-collectors on December 21 and make field visits to various mandis between December 22 and 28 to look after whether farmers are getting MSP or not.