The Union Ministry of Food, Consumer Affairs and Public Distribution has agreed to extend the deadline for Telangana for milling and delivery of CMR (custom-milled rice) of paddy procured in the 2022-23 kharif marketing season (KMS) till February 29.

The Ministry, however, refused to give any further deadlines as the State was set to begin milling and delivery of the rice (from both kharif and rabi seasons) in the 2023-24 KMS.

Acting on a request from the State government, the Ministry said that the State government should ensure timely completion of the delivery to smooth the process for handling rice from the last year’s season.

Though there is not much problem with kharif rice, which has substantial demand within the State and outside, the State is facing challenges with regard to the rabi produce as there are not many takers for this summer rice variety. Unlike the fine varieties of the kharif season, the millers go for parboiled rice to reduce the recovery rates (conversion from paddy to rice). The grains become brittle due to exposure to excessive temperatures in March and April. 

As the stocks piled up phenomenally, the State is in the process of selling 35 lakh tonnes of rice from the 2022-23 season through global tenders.

Action taken report

The Union government also directed the State government to submit an action-taken report on the status of the expansion of milling capacities. With paddy output going up multifold in the State in the last 4-5 years owing to increased irrigation facilities, the Centre had directed the State to increase milling capacities.

The erstwhile Chandrashekar Rao government appointed a cabinet sub-committee to study the issue and submit a plan to increase the number of mills.

In its latest order, the Union government also asked the State to ensure there is no recycling of rice (the dubious practice of diverting the cheaper PDS rice back into deliveries by millers).