Announcing this at the state secretariat 'Nabanna' after a meeting of the Standing Committee on Food and Procurement chaired by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, Mallick said that 1,000 special camps would be organized by the state government along with ECSC, BENFED, CONFED and other agencies from November 28 to boost the target of paddy procurement.
    
"Number of special camps might even go up to 1,400 if the drive met our expectation," Mallick said.
    
Target for this year has been set at 35 lakh tonne of paddy from which 22 lakh tonne of rice could be available.
    
Minimum support price of paddy this year has been increased from Rs 1,250 to Rs 1,310 per quintal, he said.
    
While the state required 14 lakh tonne of rice for consumption, the rest could be utilized to revamp the public distribution system and distributed in specially identified areas like Jungle Mahal free of cost, the minister said.
    
Altogether 60 godowns, each of 5,000 tonne capacity, were under construction and would be commissioned by July next year providing storage facility, he said.
    
"Middlemen's role in the procurement process will not be allowed and the state government will give full protection to the farmers preventing them from distress selling," he said.
    
Special drive would also be taken from December 1 to 15 for Kisaan Credit Cards and opening bank accounts for farmers who did not to have these facilities, he said.
    
State's Finance Minister Amit Mitra, who was also in the meeting, said the state government has taken steps to set up 165 new rice mills in 165 blocks, where this facility was presently not available.
    
"The state government has already enhanced its revenue earning from Rs 21,000 crore to Rs 40,000 crore annually. Success in foodgrains will be an addition to the state's achievement," Mitra claimed.
    
Altogether 1018 rice mills were there in the state, but the state government initiated steps to increase the number covering all blocks, he said.
    
For this purpose, incentives amounting to Rs 50 lakh per rice mill in general area and Rs 75 lakh per rice mill in tribal areas would be extended, with the Centre and state government contributing on a 75:25 ratio under the National Food Mission programme, Mitra said.
    
"Apart from this, the state government will extend an additional subsidy of Rs 5 lakh to set up each of these new rice mills," Mitra added.

(Agencies)

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