Written by Staff Writer
08 Sep, 2015 | 9:34 pm
When one takes in to consideration the issues that have arisen over the purchasing of paddy in the Ampara District, it is evident the Paddy Marketing Board is moving backwards as an institution.
Issues have been arising over the purchasing of paddy from the Ampara District. The Paddy Marketing Board confirms that the issue is from the Gal-Oya Agrarian Settlement, during the 2012 / 2013 Maha Season.
Paddy harvesting takes place across 120,000 acres of land in the Ampara District and 59,000 of those acres belonging to 40 agrarian settlements.
During the 2012 / 2013 Maha Season there were only seven storage facilities to accommodate the paddy harvested by these 40 settlements. In addition, the paddy harvested from areas out side of these 40 settlements are also brought to these storage facilities.
As these storage facilities were not cleared on time, it led to several issues on storing paddy. This issue was highlighted by Action TV during that time.
However, afterward the Paddy Marketing Board dispatched cargo containers for the first time to pick up paddy harvests from the storage facilities.
There were no issues during the Yala Season of 2013.
This was because the Paddy Marketing Board had taken measures to clear the storage facilities in time for the new intake of paddy harvests.
Moreover, in line with the Deyata Kirula Exhibition of 2013 , two new storage facilities were declared open to cater to these 40 settlements. However, these two storage facilities were not to used during the two seasons thereafter as the Paddy Marketing Board had cleared the seven other storage facilities on time.
For the first time, under the new government, during the Maha Season the paddy stocks were purchased without an issue as there was more space left in the seven old storage facilities.
However, for the first time, the two new storage facilities that were built in line with the Deyata Kirula Exhibition were used.
One of the productive initiatives undertaken by the Paddy Marketing Board during the recent Maha Season was for the paddy to be transported to the storage facilitates via agrarian organisation representatives.
However, on June 29 this year, these representatives of agrarian organisations resorted to this measure. The paddy marketing had evaded paying these representatives a sum of Rs.10 million.
The Paddy Marketing Board had also loaned a sum ten times of that to over 500 privately-owned mills, turning a blind eye to the payments due to the government by these mills.
At a time when the Paddy Marketing Board is in a helpless situation in the Ampara District, what have these mills that had obtained loans from the board been doing?
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