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Hyderabad: The Central Government’s anti-farmer policies continue unabated and the latest decision to ban the export of broken rice exposes the BJP Government’s lack of vision and commitment for farmers’ welfare, besides triggering uproar from the farming community in the State.

The ban on export of broken rice came into effect from Friday. This apart, 20 per cent export duty on select rice varieties was imposed exempting basmati and parboiled rice out of the duty purview.

The Central Government’s illogical decisions were compounding problems of the farming community. Unlike, other States, there are bountiful rains this season in Telangana and a bumper paddy yield is expected.

Already, the mills were overburdened and there is not much of storage space in the State. Last season, Food Corporation of India had created hurdles in paddy procurement, citing huge buffer stocks. Considering all these factors, the decision to ban exports of broken rice appears to be a politically motivated decision, said Indian Farmers Association Consortium Chief Advisor P Chengal Reddy.

When Central Government can incentivise sugar exports, it should adopt a similar policy for rice exports as well. This would clear the existing buffer stocks, generate revenue and facilitate timely procurement of paddy, he argued.

“But the decision to ban export of broken rice is hurting the State Governments, especially Andhra and Telangana. This exposes BJP Government’s grudge against farmers” said Chengal Reddy.

Echoing similar opinions the farming community is baffled as to why the Central Government imposed a ban on export of broken rice.

A few point out poor sowing during the ongoing season due to scanty rains and other factors in different States. By banning the export, the Central Government aims to boost domestic supplies, a few others pointed out.

Another reason was increased demand for broken rice, which was now being used as feed in poultry and other sectors, in the wake of reduced supplies of corn, wheat and maize from war-torn Ukraine and Russia.

The move to ban export of broken rice was nothing but Central Government’s lack of clear policy and vision. Last year during Yasangi season, when Telangana Government urged Centre to procure paddy, it insisted on supply of only raw rice.

This was despite State Government’s explanation that there would be high percentage of broken rice during milling in Yasangi season, considering the climatic conditions, said Rythu Sangham Samithi Palla Rajeshwar Reddy.

The State Government had incurred a huge loss to bear the cost of broken rice in a bid to save farmers from debt burdens. In this scenario, how the Central Government can justify the ban on export of broken rice, unless it was not politically driven, he asked.

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Author: Howard Caldwell