Rice millers are making thousands of crores, thanks to an official policy which allows them to sell the by-products from paddy procured for the PDS and keep the money for themselves

Crore Rice Milling Scam

Men unload rice husk from a truck at Bhageswari Paper Plant in Uttar pradesh. Rice husk is produced as a free by-product by rice millers from paddy the government procures from farmer and sold al commercial rales. Credit: Land Rover Our Planet/Flickr, CC BY-ND 2.0

New Delhi: Taking advantage of the skewed pricing policy of successive governments both at the Centre and at the state level, rice mill owners across India have been literally milling thousands of crores of rupees for themselves through the sale of paddy by-products left over

rice at a factory

milling arc bran, husk, broken rice and nooks which enjoy a lucrative market – giving millers high returns on something which they do not have to spend a single rupee to buy. They get them for free .An audit report by the Comptroller and Auditor General, to which Cobrapost and The
Wire are privy, has put the magnitude of the financial loss to the public exchequer at more than Rs 10,000 crore a year. As this windfall for millers – many of whom are politicians or have political connections – has been continuing for more than a decade, the cumulative losses could
be more than Rs. 1 lakh crore. That puts the Great Indian Rice Milling Scam within sniffing distance of the more high-profile and visible 2G and coal scams. Processed rice at a factory in Chennai. Credit: ADM Institute for the Prevention of Postharvest LossThe CAG’s report will be tabled in the winter session of Parliament Both Central and state procurement agencies supply paddy to rice mills after buying the same from farmers at standard prices* When a government agency gives 100 kg of paddy to a rice miller, the latter returns 68 kg of parboiled rice Cor 67 kg of raw rice) and is paid Rs 87 for his effort. However, he gets to retain the 32-33 kg of by-products, selling them in the open market for whatever price they fetch* According to the Odisha-based Central Rice Research InstiUite, rice millers on average derive 22 kg of rice husk, 8 kg of rice bran and 2 kg of broken rice frum 100 kg of paddy. And over the years the market fur these by pruducts has became even more lucrative than for rice

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