Kerala HC directs govt to ensure farmers aren’t fleeced carrying paddy to procurement centres

23 dec 2020

Kerala HC directs govt to ensure farmers aren’t fleeced carrying paddy to procurement centres

The Kerala High Court on Tuesday directed the Department of Civil Supplies in consultation with the Labour and Rehabilitation Department to take a decision on the plea of farmers to reduce the cost of carrying paddy to procurement centres.The bench led by Justice A. Muhamed Mustaque was hearing two writ petitions filed by Padasekhara Smithies and paddy cultivators in Palakkad District with regard to levy of charges by contractors towards loading paddy into lorries.

The Government of Kerala has implemented the paddy procurement scheme and entrusted the Kerala State Civil Supplies Corporation (KSCSC) as an implementing agency for paddy procurement. It formulated certain guidelines for procurement of paddy from farmers. The guidelines state that farmers have to bring produce to the procurement centre determined by the paddy marketing officer.The Court observed that as per the guidelines, the farmers are duty bound to give paddy either to the procurement centre or other places. Further there is no authorised procurement centre and no calculation of the distance involved for carrying the products by each farmers.