Congress alleges irregularities in paddy procurement in Chhattisgarh

RAIPUR: The opposition Congress on Wednesday created uproar in the Chhattisgarh assembly over the issue of alleged irregularities in paddy procurement in the state.
As many as 34 Congress MLAs were suspended after they trooped into the well in the House raising slogans against the government. However, their suspension was revoked later. Due to the pandemonium, Speaker Gaurishankar Agrawal had to adjourn the House proceedings for 10 minutes.
Soon after the Question Hour, state Congress President and MLA Bhupesh Baghel while raising the issue through his adjournment motion notice, said as the state has witnessed high production of paddy (in the kharif crop year 2016-17) but in spite of that the state government had set a target of procuring 70 lakh MT in 2016-17. The state has 37 lakh farmer families, out of which credit cards have been given to only 22.44 lakh. Due to administrative hurdles in the registration process for paddy procurement, only 14.51 lakh peasants get themselves registered with cooperative societies, he said.
Till January 31, 2017, 13.27 lakh farmers sold their paddy but 1.24 lakh farmers failed to do so as no prior arrangements were made for paddy procurement and large scale irregularity in the process, he said.
Baghel and other Congress MLAs further claimed that due to unavailability of gunny bags in Rajanandgaon, Bilaspur, Bemetara, Kanker, Jagdalpur, Mahasamund, Durg, Dhamtari, Balod, Janjgir-Champa districts, the procurement centres were closed for 10 days. Baghel also said the incidents of irregularities in weighing paddy at procurement centres were also reported at some places.
Another Congress MLA Dhanendra Sahu said, the state has recorded a high production of 1.30 crore MT paddy.