New Delhi: The paddy farmers in the country are likely to face new problems in the near future as the country’s main foodgrain procurement and distribution agency, Food Corporation of India (FCI) is facing serious financial crunch.

The financial mess comes at a time when the paddy crop is ready for procurement.

Apprehensive over the serious losses in paddy procurement this year, Union Minster of State for Food KV Thomas has written to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and urged him to intervene into the matter.

FCI underwent serious financial crunch after the Finance Ministry denied proposal of Food Ministry to increase the credit limit of the commission.

In his letter to the PM, Thomas has sought to increase the credit limit of commission from the existing Rs 34, 495 crore to Rs 50, 000 crore in view of the slowdown in paddy procurement this season.

It is noteworthy that the credit limits of FCI have not been increased since 2007. On the contrary, the Minimum Support Price (MSP) of wheat as well as paddy crops has been constantly hiked.

Bill for wheat procurement of many states including Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Bihar and Madhya Pradesh is due with FCI. This will have an adverse effect on the current kharif crops in these states.

The government needs about 6 crore tonne foodgrains next year as the Food Security Bill is likely to be passed by April 2012.

JPN/Bureau