DHENKANAL: An All India Congress Committee (AICC) team on Sunday interacted with farmers of Dhenkanal who aired their grievances against the paddy procurement. Led by AICC secretary Rudra Raju, the team visited the mandi in Bhuban and received complaints of farmers hassled by reduced procurement, inadequate payment against actual sale, non-payment for paddy sacks and lack of basic amenities at the market yard.
Farmers alleged that millers are deducting six to eight kg per quintal of paddy on grounds of moisture due to which they are receiving less payment. They also claimed that they are not being paid for paddy bags though entitled to get `6 per piece as per norm. “While the PACs staff say millers should pay the amount, the latter passes the buck,” Raju said quoting the farmers.
When the AICC team visited, the miller was absent and one of the staff could not provide the authorisation letter given by the government to lift paddy. Farmers Nrushingha Charan Sahoo, Basudev Behera and Sridhar Guru told Raju that they have suffered huge losses due to “Khatni Chhatni” apart from the non-payment for paddy sacks. The mandi began procuring paddy from December 27 with a target of 25,000 quintal but only 10,000 quintal have been procured till now.
The Congress leader also addressed the State’s first ‘Krushak Mahapanchayat’ at Bhuban where he strongly condemned the Centre’s farm laws which have led to the massive agitations in the country.
“Despite stiff resistance, the NDA government is trying to impose the legislations on the farmers. Even BJD supremo and Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik is not raising voice against the Modi-led government’s actions. If the laws come into effect, farmers will be at the receiving end while industrialists will reap benefits. The laws will break the backbone of the agrarian economy,” Raju said.
District Congress Committee president Saroj Patnaik informed Krushak Mahapanchayats will be held in all eight blocks to intensify stir against the Centre’s farm laws. Former Pradesh Congress Committee vice president Suvendu Mohanty, PCC Kisan president Amiya Patnaik also spoke and committed to raise the issue in Krushak Mahapanchayats in every block in the State. District Civil Supplies Officer Nirod R Dash could not be contacted despite repeated attempts.