The Telangana government will not set up paddy procurement centres during the summer crop season in view of the Union government making it clear that it would not procure paddy during the summer season, Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao said on Saturday, December 18. Though the decision was painful, it became inevitable in view of the Union governmentâ€™s "adamant attitude", an official release quoted him as saying in a meeting with District Collectors.
KCR directed the Collectors to prepare the farmers for crops other than paddy during the summer crop season. He said the financial assistance to farmers under the state government's 'Rythu Bandhu' investment support scheme would be deposited in eligible farmers' accounts from December 28.
KCR's comments against the NDA government came in the backdrop of an ongoing war of words between the ruling TRS and BJP over paddy procurement and the TRS government attacking the Union government over the issue. Stepping up its attack on the BJP and NDA government over paddy procurement, the TRS earlier this week said it would hold protests against the Union governmentâ€™s alleged anti-farmer policies on December 20.
State BJP leaders, meanwhile, have said there is no issue over paddy procurement and that the Union government would purchase paddy as per the agreement between the state government and central agencies.
The CM's meeting with Collectors also discussed the Omicron scare, and the state government's Dalit empowerment scheme 'Dalit Bandhu', among others.
The number of Omicron cases in Telangana rose to 20 with 12 more people testing positive for the new coronavirus variant on Saturday. Of the 12 new cases, two were passengers from countries declared "at risk" by the Union government, while 10 came from other nations, a state health department bulletin said. The samples of three persons are awaited for their Omicron variant status.
Meanwhile, Telangana logged 185 new COVID-19 cases, pushing the tally to 6.79 lakh, while the death toll rose to 4,014 with one more fatality in the latest 24-hour period, ending on December 18. The Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) accounted for the most cases with 78, followed by Medchal Malkajgiri (15) district, the bulletin said. The number of active cases was 3,761, it added.