Taking a serious view of the damage caused to the paddy by untimely rains in October, chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda has written to union minister of state for food and public distribution KV Thomas to relax the norms pertaining to milled rice.
Hooda in his letter sent recently said that the quality of the paddy was adversely affected because of the rains and the state agencies procured paddy keeping in mind the basic mandate of the procurement policy to give remunerative price to farmers for their produce.
"However, due to the damage caused by the rains, the paddy which was thus procured, cannot give rice conforming to prescribed specifications, such as 67% yield, 25% broken, 3% damaged and 3% discoloured rice. Hence these specifications need to be relaxed in view of the extenuating circumstances,"Hooda said.
Stating that Punjab was also said to have taken up the matter for relaxation in the specifications of customed milled rice (CMR) with the government of India, he said that agro-climatic conditions of Punjab and Haryana were similar and urged Thomas for the relaxations in absence of which, he said, it would not be possible for Haryana to get the paddy milled and deliver the entire due stock of CMR.
Meanwhile, Haryana rice millers association president Rajender Aggarwal and secretary Ashish Mehta told HT that the rains had badly hit the paddy crop yield as well as the rice's quality. "While the rains decreased the paddy yield to 60%, the damage content in rice was to 5-6%,"Mehta said and 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.
It may be recalled that a delegation of rice millers of Haryana had also met Thomas recently and apprised him of the problems being faced by millers of the state.