Peddapalli: In a bid to address the issue of delayed supply of Custom Milled Rice (CMR) by rice millers in Peddapalli district, the local administration has launched a vigorous crackdown on violators. The district officials revealed that a staggering 80 percent of the CMR, equivalent to 1.82 lakh tons, from the Kharif (Vanakalam) season of 2022-23 alone was pending with these millers. Furthermore, a substantial backlog of 2.34 lakh tons of rice, worth approximately Rs 750 crore, from the past four seasons remains unresolved.
During a recent video conference with District Collectors, Chief Secretary A Santhi Kumari sought explanations for the delayed CMR supply and promptly instructed officials to conduct thorough inspections of rice mills. Responding to these instructions, Collector Sanjeeta Satyanarayana promptly assembled 19 teams consisting of Tahsildars and Civil Supplies officials to undertake comprehensive inspections of rice mills across the district. Notably, the Collector herself personally inspected a few rice mills in the Sultanabad mandal just three days ago.
These inspection teams are meticulously scrutinizing various aspects of the rice mills, including the quantity of CMR returned by each mill and the remaining amount yet to be returned. These inspections have already uncovered irregularities, with discrepancies observed between the CMR quantities claimed to be returned to the government and the actual stock available at the mills.
Alarming revelations indicate that certain millers, instead of fulfilling their obligation to return the complete CMR quantity within the stipulated timeframe, have chosen to withhold a portion of the rice for their own financial gains. These unscrupulous practices involve selling the rice in other states at inflated prices, thus profiting at the expense of the government and the intended beneficiaries. Sources within the Civil Supplies department have confirmed these findings.
According to District Supplies Officer Thota Venkateshwarlu disclosed that the pending CMR issue has persisted across four seasons in the district. He reassured the public that steps have been taken to expedite the process of reclaiming the rice from the millers. Encouraging progress was made on Monday, with millers supplying 23,780 kg of rice. Furthermore, in addition to the ongoing inspections by the dedicated teams, authorities are actively reaching out to millers via phone, urging them to promptly return the rice.
The crackdown on delayed CMR supply underscores the district administration’s commitment to ensuring the timely distribution of essential food grains to the population. It serves as a stern warning to unscrupulous millers engaging in fraudulent practices, sending a clear message that such violations will not be tolerated. As the investigations proceed and corrective measures are implemented, the district administration aims to restore the smooth functioning of the rice supply chain, ultimately benefiting the farmers and consumers of Peddapalli.