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Odisha govt approves food & procurement policy

Bhubaneswar,  The Odisha government on Thursday approved the Food and Procurement Policy for Kharif Marketing season, 2020-21 and agreed to provide the guarantee for Rs 2,600 crore loans to GRIDCO during the current fiscal.The decisions in this regard were taken at the Cabinet meeting chaired by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik here.

The meeting approved as many as 18 proposals while the Council of Ministers approved the proposal for the Supplementary Budget to be presented in the winter session of the Assembly commencing on November 20.

The Kharif Marketing Season (KMS), 2020-21 started from November 1 and to continue till September 21, Chief Secretary A K Tripathy said.

He said that the state has fixed a tentative procurement target of 48 lakh metric tonne in terms of rice.

For Kharif, the tentative target for procurement of paddy is 54 lakh metric tonne and for Rabi 17 lakh metric tonne, Tripathy said, adding that the minister of Food Supplies and Consumer Welfare has also been authorised to revise this target if the need so arises.

In KMS 2019-20 paddy to the tune of 70.56 lakh metric tonne was procured (both kharif and rabi). In terms of rice it comes to 47.78 lakh MT, the chief secretary said.

He said the farmers will be paid directly on their bank account within 24 to 48 hours of the sale of paddy. The district administrations and state agencies will take all necessary measures to prevent distress sale of paddy, he said.

In regard to the approval of the government guarantee of Rs 2,600 crore loans to GRIDCO during the 2020-21 financial year, Tripathy said this will enable GRIDCO to get about two per cent interest concession from banks.

Tripathy said the Cabinet decision on GRIDCO will reduce the electricity suppliers financial cost and in turn the retail tariff for industries, MSMEs and general consumers.

The Cabinet also approved the tender of NCC Limited amounting to Rs 461.25 crore for construction of Jagannath Ballav Pilgrim Centre, market complex and Shree Setu along with extension of Musa river at Puri under Augmentation of Basic Amenities and Development of Heritage and Architecture (ABADHA) Scheme.

The work will be completed within a period of 30 months, Tripathy said.

The government also decided to alienate government land and acquired/purchase land for Heritage Security Corridor around Shri Jagannath Temple, Puri in favour of Shri Jagannath Temple Managing Committee, Puri on free of premium, incidental charges, annual ground rent and cess and to correct the Record of Rights in the name of Lord Shri Jagannath.

The cabinet meeting also accepted the recommendation of the State Law Commission of Odisha and take steps for enactment of the Odisha Appropriation Act (Repeal) Act, 2020 which will repeal 215 numbers of Appropriation Acts, he said.

The cabinet also approved enactment of Odisha Laboratory Assistants in Government Engineering Schools /Polytechnics (Methods of Recruitment and Conditions of Service) Rules, 2020.

In regard to the proposal of promotion of government employees, the Cabinet approved a proposal to amend the Odisha Civil Services (Criteria for promotion) Rules, 1992, to ensure timely promotion of government servants.

The Cabinet also approved the appointment of retired IAS officer Bibhuti Bhusan Pattanaik and Prof. (Dr.) Sudhanshu Sekhar Rath as members in the Odisha Public Service Commission, the chief secretary said. PTI