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Govt all set to procure record quantity of 742 lakh MT paddy in ongoing Kharif season: Piyush Goyal

 NEW DELHI:Food Minister Piyush Goyal has said Food Corporation of India and state agencies are all set to procure a record quantity of 742 Lakh Metric tonnes of paddy during the ongoing Kharif crop season as against 627 Lakh Metric Tonnes paddy last year.

 

Virtually briefing the media in New Delhi today, Mr Goyal said, the number of purchase centres for Kharif 2020-21 have also been increased from 30 thousand 7 hundred nine to 39 thousand 1 hundred 22. He said, the procurement season had been advanced to 26th September in view of the early arrival of paddy in the market.

 

Mr Goyal said, production of pulses has gone up in the last five years due to the relentless efforts of the Narendra Modi Govt and introduction of support prices. He said, Government is  working on a twin track, to increase domestic production and ensure that the consumers get the pulses at the right price. The Minister said,  Moong, Urad and Tur Dal have been supplied from buffer stocks to States and Union Territories. Two Lakh Metric Tonne of Tur is to be disposed of from the buffer stock through open market sale in the next 15 Days.

 

He said, there is no shortage of food grains throughout the country despite the lockdown. Mr Goyal said, in the COVID period Government ensured food for everyone through the length and breadth of the country. The Minister said, through the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana, food was given to nearly 80 crore people. He said, under Atma Nirbhar Bharat, every single product has been identified where there is a need to increase domestic production to make sure.

 

Mr Goyal said, oil seeds is a focused area for the Government and it is also looking at increasing palm oil production in India through large scale palm cultivation. He added that the Government is also looking at promoting sunflower and mustard oil.

 

 

 The Minister said, Government has expanded procurement in the last five years. Procurement has been doubled as compared to the situation prevailing 6 years ago. He said, Government cancelled over bogus 4 crore ration cards and ensured that the right beneficiary gets food grains saving thousands of crore rupees.

 

Speaking on onion, Mr Goyal said, on 14th September, the Government had banned the export of onions. Onion import has begun and relaxation was given in certain conditions. He said, so far 7 thousand tonnes of onions have arrived in the country and 25 thousand tonnes are expected to arrive before Diwali. He said, new crop is also coming to the market. The Minister said, onion seed export was banned so that there is no shortage. Mr. Goyal said, NAFED has provided about 36 thousand Metric Tonnes of onion from the buffer stock to State Governments and in open market sale.

 

Mr Goyal also said  steps are being taken to moderate potato prices. Earlier, import duty on potatoes was 30 per cent. Now, quota of 10 Lakh Metric Tonne at 10 per cent duty for import of potato till 31st January 2021 has been notified.

 

Mr Goyal who is also the Minister for Railways said, Railways is going to provide Kisan Rail for  transportation of  apples of Kashmir and Himachal Pradesh throughout the country.  He said, farmers of the country trust Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Government and are happy with the recently enacted farm laws.

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