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Chhattisgarh government has blacklisted atleast 290 rice millers who were on strike opposing the custom milling policy of the state since early this month. "The state government has initiated action against rice millers who are on strike.
So far,290 rice millers were blacklisted for not cooperating in the custom milling," an official statement said here last night. Chief Secretary in-charge N K Aswal and Secretary Food department Richa Sharma were informed about the action during a meeting yesterday here at Mantralaya. Both the officers, through video-conferencing, interacted with district collectors wherein they reviewed the progress of ongoing paddy procurement and custom milling in each district. During the meeting, officials informed that paddy procurement is going on through 1,988 procurement centres of 1,333 cooperative societies in the state since November 15. Meanwhile, they also informed that the state government had assured the rice millers (who are on strike) to think over their demands but some of them were not taking interest in custom milling, the release said. Finally taking a tough stand, the state government initiated action against the rice millers under the Essential Commodities Act-1955 and Chhattisgarh Custom Milling Procurement order 2016, officials said. "In this Kharif season, so far 27 rice mills were raided and then sealed. Besides, 290 rice millers were blacklisted from undertaking custom milling works," the release said. Notably the Rice Millers' Association, the biggest rice millers' business body in Chhattisgarh, is on an indefinitestrike since November 10 in support of their four-point demands, including higher rates for custom milling, rollback high price of gunny bags and lower the required quantity of custom milled rice from 67 kgper 100 kg of paddy to 56 kg.