Govt to procure grains from farmers
Source: Chronicle News Service / DIPR

Imphal, February 27 2023: On the 6th day of the 12th Manipur Legislative Assembly Session, the House unanimously passed seven demands for grant amounting to Rs 9951,84,61,000.The demands for grant passed by the House on Monday are Medical, Health & Family Welfare Services, Municipal, Administration, Housing and Urban Development, Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution, Agriculture, Animal Husbandry and Veterinary including Dairy Farming, Community and Rural Development and Planning.

A sum of Rs 1919,67,30,000 for Medical, Health & Family Welfare Services; Rs 1038,09,10,000 for Municipal, Administration, Housing and Urban Development; Rs 171,69,98,000 for Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution; Rs 391,60,47,000 for Agriculture; Rs 194,25,36,000 for Animal Husbandry & Veterinary including Dairy Farming; Rs 4754,58,12,000 for Community and Rural Development; and Rs 1481,94,28,000 for Planning have been passed for the financial year ending March 31, 2024.During the discussion on demands for grants, MLAs K Ranjit and Th Lokeshwar moved cut motions which were later withdrawn, and seven demands for grants amounting to Rs 9951,84,61,000 were passed by the House.

MLA K Meghachandra also joined in the demand discussion and placed his observation on the demands.

Moving the policy cut motions, K Ranjit and Th Lokeshwar highlighted the government's failure to procure the grains directly from the farmers, lack of an efficient system with regard to distribution of NFSA cards and non-distribution of honorarium for Fair Price Shop (FPS).

In response, CAF&PD minister L Susindro informed that around Rs 84 crore has been allocated in the budget for procuring the grains from farmers, of which Rs 4 crore is the state's share and Rs 84 crore is central share.

The government will buy the grains at Rs 25 per kg, of which Rs 20.40 will be paid by the Ministry.

To set aside a share for the grain traders (Chengdaibi) during the procurement of grains, a written request was made to the Ministry concerned.

For this, the traders need to link to the Loucha Pathap portal, after which the money will be credited into the account of the paddy owner.

However, in Manipur, the paddy owner and the farmers are two separate entities.

When the link is made to Loucha Pathap, the paddy owners are sometimes found to be government employees or the owners refused to give NOC to the farmers, which prevent the activation of the portal, thereby delaying the procurement of the grains.

The minister continued that as per FCI's instructions, there is the need to assemble a rice mill to grind around 30 metric tonnes of grains procured from the farmers.

This slowed down the procurement process in the ongoing year.

It is the objective of the government to provide the rice cultivated in the state to the people.

Thus, the rice mill will be assembled at Sangaiprou by a German company and the site for the same is currently being fenced.

He then said that NFSA card is to be linked with Aadhaar, only after which the system can be accessed.

It is then sent to the Ministry concerned every 2 months and the Ministry takes 3-4 months to verify and approved the same, although the cards are available online.

Even if the card is linked with Aadhaar, the cards cannot be distributed without the Ministry's approval or many will come to draw the grains from next day onwards, when the quota is only for the approved cards.

The quota for June last year increased, he added, while informed that the Ministry has assured of increasing the quota for April this year.

Regarding distribution of honorarium to FPS, Susindro said that the state's share in around 25 percent, while the central share is around 75 percent.

For PMGKY, the centre provides 100 percent.

He continued that the honorarium is different for the two types of rice released to the state.

The state government had allocated Rs 25 crore in the budget for NFSA honorarium, of which not even Rs 1 has been taken.

The due state share for FPS honorarium will be distributed by mid-March, he assured, while informing the house that the honorarium for PMGKY will be delayed for some time.

Replying to a policy cut motion, Health minister Dr Sapam Ranjan Singh informed the House that a common Biomedical Treatment Facility Centre at Shija Hospital under the license provided by the Manipur Pollution Control Board, caters to biomedical waste management for about 57 health centres of the state including district hospitals, CHC, private clinics among others.

Another plant is located at Lamdeng, which has a processing capacity of 100 kg of biomedical wastes per hour.

As per the Biomedical Waste Rules, no other plants can be set up within a radius of 75 km of an existing bio-waste facility.

RIMS and JNIMS have in-house incinerators to manage their respective biomedical wastes.

Deep burial pits have been ensured for remote and far-flung areas to manage their bio medical waste, he further informed the House.

Responding to another cut motion, Dr Ranjan stated that the government has been following adequate safety norms on food items in tune with the increasing adulteration.

Random sampling has been undertaken on fish imported from outside the state to detect Formalin.

Fortunately, all the inspections conducted so far fell below 4ppm, which is the acceptable limit fixed by FSSAI.

A multi-dimensional approach on food safety has become vital, he admitted, while adding that pending COVID bills will be cleared by this financial year.

The Health minister further made an earnest appeal to the doctors on strike to resume their noble work of providing essential services to the people.

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