Odisha fails to recover Rs 128 cr. from rice millers

Bhubaneswar, Nov 23:  The Odisha government has failed to recover the dues amounting to Rs. 128 crore from 'unscrupulous' rice millers, who evaded returning milled rice.

Odisha Food Supplies and Consumer Welfare minister Sanjay Kumar Dasburma on Saturday informed the State Assembly that rice mill operators had not returned 67,181 metric tonnes of rice.

Every year the State government gets huge stocks of paddy milled by rice millers. As per the existing system, millers are supposed to give back 68 kg of rice for every one quintal of paddy. The rice millers are paid the amount of converting paddy into rice and supplied gunny bags to pack the rice.

However, over the years millers have not returned the entire stock of milled rice worth crores of rupees. As per the statistics tabled in the Assembly, total outstanding amount estimated by government was Rs. 131 crore. The government could recover only Rs. 2.9 crore from the millers.

Despite several criminal cases instituted against millers, the recovered amount constituted less than 5 per cent of the total outstanding. Opposition political parties alleged that the government was hand in gloves with unscrupulous rice millers.