The Union ministry of consumer affairs, food and public distribution on Tuesday allowed agencies to procure paddy with moisture content up to 15%.
At a meeting between Union minister for consumer affairs, food and public distribution Ram Vilas Paswan and Punjab food and civil supplies minister Adesh Partap Singh Kairon on Tuesday, it was decided that paddy with 15% moisture content could be procured but it would lead to a cut in the minimum support price (MSP).
“Moisture higher than 14% and up to 15% would lead to a cut in a price, as per the laid-down norms,” Punjab’s secretary, food and civil supplies, DS Grewal told HT. Grewal also attended the meeting between Paswan and Kairon.
The NDA government had fixed moisture limit up to 14% in the current kharif season, whereas in previous procurement seasons, when the Congress-led UPA was in power, the limit was relaxed up to18%.
At Tuesday’s meeting, it was decided to relax the paddy filling limit per gunny bag to 37.5kg instead of the earlier limit of 40kg. Punjab took up the matter with the Centre because procurement was severely affected due to the filling norm fixed by the latter. Procurement agencies and rice millers have been demanding relaxing of the filling limit to 35kg.
On another issue raised by Kairon, the Union food ministry asked the Food Corporation of India (FCI) to dispose of within 15 days the appeals filed by millers on the quality of foodgrains.