Bhubaneswar, Sep 30 (IANS): The Odisha Cabinet on Friday approved state's Food and Procurement Policy for Kharif marketing season 2022-23, setting a target of procuring 71 lakh metric tonnes (LMT) of paddy.
The procurement season would commence from November 1 and continue till June next year. The government will procure paddy during Kharif and Rabi seasons separately during the period. In terms of rice, this comes to around 48 LMT, said Chief Secretary S.C. Mahapatra.
For Kharif, the tentative target for procurement of paddy would be 57 LMT and for Rabi, it will be 14 LMT. "There is no bar for procurement of any higher quantum if more paddy comes to 'mandis' from registered farmers," he said.
Under the policy, the state's Food Supplies and Consumer Welfare Minister has been authorised to revise this target if the need arises, he informed.
In KMS 2022-23, 71.03 LMT paddy was procured (both kharif and rabi included). In terms of rice, it was 48.08 LMT, he said. The Kharif paddy will be procured in the state from November 2022 to March 2023 and Rabi paddy from May to June, next year.
Paddy will be procured as per MSP declared by government of India at a rate of Rs 2,040 per quintal for common variety and Rs 2,060 per quintal for Grade-A variety.
Odisha State Civil Supplies Corporation (OSCSC) will procure paddy in all districts. Payment of farmers' dues on account of paddy sold to the government shall be transferred directly to their bank accounts through online mode within 24 to 48 hours of the sale of paddy, said the chief secretary.
Odisha requires 22 LMT of rice annually for its PDS. Surplus rice will be delivered to Central Pool through the Food Corporation of India (FCI).
The cabinet has also decided to change the pattern of Odisha civil services examination at par with the civil services examination conducted by the UPSC.
The amendment was made so that candidates can prepare themselves for the civil services examination conducted by the Odisha Public Service Commission (OPSC) and Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) simultaneously, he said.
As per the decision, out of total of 2,000 marks, 1,750 for written tests and 250 is for personality test. The written test includes Odia, English, Essay, General Studies-I, II, III, IV and Optional Subject Paper-I & Paper-II. All written test papers consist of 250 marks.
The candidate will require more time to adapt to the revised pattern of the examination. As such it has been proposed to revise the attempt to appear for the examination also, said Mahapatra.
Now, the unreserved category (UC) students can appear for the test for six attempts while SEBC candidates can appear for nine times. There is no limit for the SC & ST category students, he said.
Moreover, the cabinet has approved the proposal to merge the directorates of mining & geology administration under the Steel & Mines department.