Nitish for greater use of IT in paddy procurement

Patna: Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar today laid stress on greater use of Information Technology to make paddy procurement more transparent and corruption-free.

In a review meeting held today by the CM on paddy procurement, it was decided to make online payment to registered farmers through RTGS, an official statement said.

It was also decided that paddy should be procured through trade bodies and PACs (Primary Agriculture Credit Societies).

Opposition BJP had made paddy procurement a major issue during the previous term of the JD(U).

Kumar said at the meeting that the state food corporation has storage capacity of five lakh tonne, while trade bodies and PACs have capacity to store 7.5 lakh tonne of paddy, the statement said.

Last year, 24 lakh tonne of paddy was procured and this year the target has been set at 30 lakh tonne, the Chief Minister was quoted as saying.

It was decided at the meeting that there should be a database of farmers and that 100 quintals of paddy would be procured from every registered farmer.

Checks would be done so that paddy from neighbouring states do not come into state and middlemen take benefit of it, the statement said.

The CM directed to appoint financial advisors in the state food corporation.

Deputy Chief Minister Tejaswi Yadav, Health and Minor Irrigation department minister Tej Pratap Yadav, Finance minister Abdul Bari Siddiqui, Energy minister Bijendra Prasad Yadav and Rural Development minister Shrawan Kumar attended the review meeting, the statement added.