The Chhattisgarh government had been mooting a plan to curtail the limit of paddy that it would procure from the farmers ahead of paying bonus of Rs 300 as promised before the elections.
The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) had announced to pay Rs 300 for a quintal of paddy that it had been procuring from the farmers in the current kharif marketing season 2013-14. Since the paddy had formed the government, efforts had started to reduce the financial burden on implementation of the election promises.
The government had reportedly started working on the plan to procure 6 quintal to 18 quintal paddy per acre from the farmers.
If a farmer was having an acre of land, he would be eligible for selling paddy in the range of 6 quintal to 18 quintal depending upto the crop assessment report prepared for the district.
The department concerned had prepared assessment report for each district. The officials, though skipped speaking on the curtailment issue, said that in many districts the assessment was 6 quintal to 10 quintal as crop was damaged due to untimely rains.
In the last kharif marketing season, the government had procured paddy based on the calculation of 20 quintal per acre. The state-run Marketing Federation had purchased about 7 million tones paddy. The government spent about Rs 11,000 crore on paddy procurement including giving bonus of Rs 270 per quintal to the farmers.
“After winning the election, the BJP government appears to be cheating the farmers,” Rajkumar Gupta of Chhattisgarh Progressive Farmers’ Association said. Since the government had to spend huge amount, it was planning to curtail the limit so that paddy purchase could be limited.
The government had set a target to purchase 7.2 Million Tonnes (MT) of produce from the farmers. The paddy procurement would continue till February 15.
The BJP leaders however refused to comment on the issue.