Bhopal: The Central government, which has expressed helplessness in curbing escalating food prices, has shown no initiative in lifting the 17 lakh metric tonnes of foodgrain lying in Madhya Pradesh.

Inspite of several reminders by the MP government, the request for picking up its share of grains has fallen on deaf ears.

The MP government has expressed severe resentment and has again written to the Centre in this regard.

Conveying his objection on the reckless attitude of the government, Paras Chandra Jain, Minister for Food, Civil Supplies and Consumer Protection, has alleged that the union government and the Food Corporation of India are occupying a lackadaisical stand on the issue.

In a letter written to Food Minister KV Thomas, Jain has said, “In such a situation, the storage of foodgrain for next year will be a problem.” He has clearly stated in the letter, that “the 49.65 lakh metric tonnes of grains produced this year and last year’s remaining sum of 5.70 lakh metric tonnes have amounted to a whopping 55.35 lakh metric tonnes of grains in the state godwons”.

He has also added that the requirement of foodgrain for the public distribution system is just 24 lakh metric tonnes.

According to the contract between the state government and the Centre, the government has picked up only 14.32 lakh metric tonnes out of the surplus 31.35 metric tonnes of foodgrain while no initiative has been showcased by the Centre and the Corporation to collect the remaining quantity.

Jain said, “Thanks to the good rainfall this year, the state government has started with its preparations for buying 60 lakh metric tonnes of foodgrains next year on the minimum support price. The state would be facing a severe crunch of storage facility in such a situation. The state already falls short of godowns for storage of grains and even though alternate arrangements can be implemented, storage of such a huge quantity will be tough.”