According to the sources, the paddy procurement which is now at a standstill following a decision by rice millers not to participate in the programme is set to resume with Kerala State Civil Supplies Corporation deciding to raise handling charges for rice millers to Rs.190 a quintal. The decision is to raise the handling charges was taken at a meeting of the rice millers with Minister for Civil Supplies Anoop Jacob, as it was disclosed in a press release. It was stated that at present the handling charges is Rs.143 a quintal, however, the millers had demanded Rs.451 a quintal.
In this regard, the Civil Supplies Department had decided to set up a committee comprising rice millers, farm scientists and officials of supplyco to study the problems confronting rice milling in the State. Further, the millers had also met Chief Minister Oommen Chandy to discuss their problems and to present their views on the issue. The miller’s contention was that the handling charges had not been increased since 2012 even though milling and other costs had gone up substantially. The increase now is 32.8 per cent.