Acting TRS Chairman and Minister of IT and Industries, KT Rama Rao, observed that the Centre’s “irrational political decisions” and “lack of foresight” were driving the country towards a shortage of food grains.
Reacting to the Centre’s decision to increase export duties on rice and ban the export of broken rice, he said here on Saturday that the Centre’s “discriminatory attitude” in the purchase of food grains , especially of paddy, in the previous two agricultural seasons in Telangana, had led to the situation and demanded that the Center put in place a “one nation, one buy” policy at least now, to overcome the threat to food security through a massive purchase of food grains.
He alleged that the Center had mortgaged the country’s food security by not procuring huge quantities (thousands of tons) of paddy during the previous two crop years. He also suggested to the Union Minister of Food and Public Distribution, Piyush Goyal, to procure the entire production of food grains from the states in order to ensure the country’s food security by maintaining important buffer stocks.
“In its attempt to portray Telangana as a failed state, the Narendra Modi government at the Center had fallen into its own trap. The Center asserted just six months ago that there were enough stocks of wheat and rice in the country to meet its needs for four years,” the head of TRS pointed out. However, in a decision that completely contradicted its claims, the Center had imposed a 20% tax on rice exports in addition to banning the export of broken rice, he noted.
Mr. Rama Rao motivated a sharp decline in buffer stocks of wheat, rice and broken rice in FCI depots and other warehouses for the Center’s decision. He recalled that when the Telangana government asked the Center to buy more paddy from him six months ago, the reason given was that there were ample stocks of food grains in the country to refuse more purchases. important.
Recalling Mr Goyal’s ‘insulting remarks’ to a team of state ministers who called on him to demand increased purchases of paddy from Telangana, to teach people to eat broken rice to overcome the problem of excessive production of parboiled rice, KTR said, “By prohibiting the export of broken rice, perhaps it can cultivate the habit of eating it.”
He asked Mr. Goyal to explain to people the reasons for the Center’s decision on rice exports. He alleged that the Centre’s lack of understanding of the country’s food needs had prevented it from having a clear supply policy and led to the current situation.