Bhubaneswar: The union government has relaxed the Fair Average Quality (FAQ) norms for procurement of paddy in 15 districts of Odisha.
Union Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution Minister Ram Vilas Paswan informed about the decision to Union Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan, who had urged Paswan to relax the FAQ norms.
Notably, on January 30, Pradhan wrote to Paswan seeking relaxation in quality norms of paddy in areas affected due to unexpected rain in Odisha.
“I would like to inform you that the department has decided to give relaxation in the FAQ norms for the purpose of procurement of paddy in 15 districts of Odisha to facilitate farmers affected by the unexpected non-seasonal rain,” Paswan informed Pradhan in a letter.
Pradhan in his letter had informed that he had received several petitions during his visits to various parts of Odisha wherein the paddy farmers had requested the Centre to come to their rescue in terms of purchase of their paddy under MSP.
“The farmers informed that the quantity and quality of paddy crop have been adversely affected by the unexpected non-seasonal rain. Subsequent to our discussion on this issue, a team of quality control officers of the FCI had visited and assessed the quality of paddy in the affected districts of Odisha. The FCI team has reportedly found that the paddy does not meet the FAQ standards,” said Pradhan.
“It is understood from various interactions that unless the Government of India relaxes the FAQ norms for the paddy crop in Odisha the farmers would be forced to make distress sale of paddy,” said Pradhan.
On the other hand, Odisha Food Supplies and Consumer Affairs Minister Surya Narayan Patro said that he has not received any letter from Union Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution Minister Ram Vilas Paswan regarding relaxation of FAQ norms of paddy in the state.