Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel on Thursday met Union Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Minister Narendra Singh Tomar and Union Food Minister Ramvilas Paswan in New Delhi and urged them to procure rice from Chhattisgarh for the central pool.

He also sought the Centre’s support in encouraging the sale of bioethanol in Chhattisgarh.

“It is noteworthy that according to the decision taken by the Central Government under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the year 2014, rice will not be procured from state governments that provide a bonus against paddy procurement at the support price. But despite the decision, the provision was slackened for the last two years and rice was being procured from Chhattisgarh for the central pool,” said the government press release.

“Keeping this in view, Chhattisgarh Government has requested Prime Minister to slacken the provision for the year 2019-20 as well and procure 32 lakh metric tons of rice from Chhattisgarh, because a large quantity of inflow of paddy is expected this year,” it read.

He said that it is estimated that over 85 lakh metric tonne of rice will be procured this year.

Meanwhile, the chief minister has also urged the Centre to provide approval for the production of bioethanol as an alternative use of acquired surplus paddy in the year 2019-20. He said this would encourage investment in the field of bio-fuel.