Haryana chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda has again written to union minister of state for food and public distribution KV Thomas to relax the norms pertaining to milled rice in the wake of the damage caused to paddy by untimely rains in October in the state.
Referring to his earlier letter in the context, sent on November 16, Hooda said though the procurement agencies in Haryana had procured such paddy so that farmers got remunerative prices for their produce, the procured paddy cannot give rice conforming to prescribed specifications, which included 67% yield, 25% broken, 3% damaged and 3% dicoloured rice.
He proposed in his letter that these specifications needed to be relaxed. The yield from 67% to 66%, broken from 25% to 30%, damaged from 3% to 4% and also the discoloured from 3% to 4%, without any value cut.
Hooda added that the relaxations sought, fell within the prescribed limit under the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006. In absence of these relaxations it would not be possible for the state to get the procured paddy milled and deliver the entire due quantity of the custom milled rice (CMR), he said, adding that these relaxations were sought only in the case of paddy procured during kharif market season, 2013-14, due to the damage caused by the unseasonal rains.
Meanwhile, Haryana rice millers' association president Rajender Aggarwal and secretary Ashish Mehta told HT that the rain had badly hit the paddy and it had damaged rice to the extent of 5% -6%. Mehta said the millers feared that the same would not be accepted by the Food Corporation of India, which would thus cause huge losses to the millers in terms of penalty. He said a delegation of the association had also recently met union social justice minister Kumari Selja as well as Sirsa and Kurukshetra MPs, namely Ashok Tanwar and Naveen Jindal, and apprised them of their plight and that they too had written to Thomas in this context.