West Bengal Custom Milled Rice (Obligation and Control) Order, 2015

Governor is of opinion that it is necessary and expedient to provide necessary provisions for procurement and maintaining supplies of rice and for securing its equitable distribution and availability at fair prices to agencies of the State Government by the Custom Milled Rice agency.

GOVERNMENT OF WEST BENGAL
Department of Food and Supplies
11A, Mirza Galib Street, Kolkata-700 087.

No. 3774-FS/Sectt./Food/4P-12/2014 Kolkata, the 30th December, 2015

NOTIFICATION

WHEREAS the State Government undertakes purchase of paddy at Minimum Support Price directly from the farmers in its effort to ensure fair and remunerative price to farmers and avoid any distress sale;

AND WHEREAS the Governor is of opinion that it is necessary and expedient to provide necessary provisions for procurement and maintaining supplies of rice and for securing its equitable distribution and availability at fair prices to agencies of the State Government by the Custom Milled Rice agency;

AND WHEREAS concurrence of the Central Government in the Ministry of Consumer Affairs Food & Public Distribution, Department of Food & Public Distribution, Krishi Bhavan, New Delhi, in this respect has been obtained by the State Government vide No. 6/1/2007-PY.III, dated 15th December, 2015;

Now, therefore, in exercise of the power conferred by section 3 of the Essential Commodities Act, 1955 (Act 10 of 1955), the Governor is pleased hereby to make the following Order: –

1. Short title, extent, commencement and application

(1) This Order may be called the West Bengal Custom Milled Rice (Obligation & Control) Order, 2015.

(2) It will extend to the whole of West Bengal.

(3) It shall come into force at once.

(4) It shall apply to all Rice Millers operating in the State of West Bengal.

2. Definitions

In this Order, unless the context otherwise requires,-

(a) “Act” means the Essential Commodities Act, 1955 (10 of 1956);

(b) “Centralised Procurement Centre” means Kishan Mandis, godowns constructed under RIDF scheme and such other centre as may be notified by the State Government from time to time;

(c) “Collector” means the District Magistrate of a district and includes such other officers of the State Government posted in the district as may be authorized by State Government to perform all or any of the functions of the Collector under this Order;

(d) “Custom milling” means milling of paddy, not belonging to the miller, in his mill on payment of milling charges;

(e) “Custom Milled Rice” means rice produced through custom milling of paddy procured and delivered to selected rice mills by designated agency of the State Government;

(f) “designated agency” means following agencies of the Government of West Bengal, duly empowered to procure paddy in such manner and on such conditions, as specified in this order, namely, –

(i) the West Bengal Essential Commodities Supply Corporation Ltd. (WBECSC),

(ii) the West Bengal State Cooperative Marketing Federation Ltd. (popularly known as BENFED),

(iii) the West Bengal State Consumers Cooperative Federation Limited (CONFED),

(iv) the National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation of India Ltd. (NAFED),

(v) the National Cooperative Consumers’ Federation of India Ltd. (NCCF),

(vi) National Federation of Farmers’ Procurement, Processing and Retailing Cooperatives of India Ltd. (NACOF);

(vii) Paschim Banga Agri Marketing Corporation;

(viii) any other organisation as may be engaged by State Government for the purpose;

(g) “Direct Purchase Camp” means a purchase centre where paddy is purchased directly from farmers at a price not below Minimum support price (Minimum Support Price) by any Custom Mill Rice agency;

(h) “Director” means the Director of District Distribution, Procurement and Supply, Department of Food and Supplies, Government of West Bengal and includes the Regional Joint Director, Joint Director, Deputy Director, Assistant Director, District Controller, Assistant District Controller and Sub-divisional Controller of Food and Supplies in the said Department;

(i) “distress sale” means distress sale of paddy of Fair Average Quality sold in open market below Minimum Support Price;

(j) “District Level Monitoring Committee” means the Committee constituted under clause 10 of this order;

(k) “Food Corporation of India” means the Food Corporation of India established under the Food Corporation Act, 1964 (37 of 1964), and includes officers and agents acting through its for the purpose of this Order;

(l) “Kishan Mandi” means and includes a permanent mandi set up by the Agricultural-marketing Department or Agriculture Department for the purpose of purchase of paddy from farmers directly;

(m) “Minimum Support Price” means minimum support price of paddy of Fair Average Quality, as fixed by Government of India, to be paid to the farmers while procuring paddy from the farmers either by the designated agencies or Food Corporation of India for a particular Kharif Marketing Season.

(n) “notification” means a notification published in the Official Gazette,

(o) “paddy” means paddy of the varieties described on Schedule – IV,

(p) “Procurement Price” means the procurement price specified in clause 13 of this order;

(q) “Purchase Officer” means an officer appointed by or under the authority of the State Government or Designated Agency or the Food Corporation of India and includes such other agency or person duly authorised in this behalf by the State Government, who purchase paddy from fanners and to collect resultant rice from rice millers as may be directed by the State Government;

(r) “Procuring Society” means a society registered under the West Bengal Societies Registration Acts, 1961, PACS, Agricultural Co-operative Society, Thana Marketing Co-Operative Societies, Self Help Groups or cluster of Self Help Groups working in rural areas and registered with Custom Mill Rice agencies as per existing procedure;

(s) “rice” means rice produced or manufactured with power out of paddy, and includes broken rice (khud) but does not include ‘Chira’, ‘Muri’ and ‘Khoi’.

(t) “Rice Mill” means the plant and machinery including the premises thereof in which or in any part of which operation of milling of paddy and storing of resultant rice are made;

(u) “Rice Miller” means the owner of a rice mill established by a company duly registered under the Companies Act, a registered partnership firm or any individual or any other legal entity or a lessee i.e. who has taken over the ride mill from the original owner on lease for a period not less than 12 (twelve) months by way of a registered lease deed;

(v) “Rice of Fair Average Quality” means rice, the quality which indicated in Schedule-II containing admixture of impurities within the maximum limits specified in column (3) of the said Schedule;

(w) “Schedule” means a Schedule appended to these Orders;

(x) “State Government” means the Government of West Bengal in Food & Supplies Department;

(y) “Sub-division Level Monitoring Committee (Sub-Division Level Monitoring Committee) means the Committee constituted under clause 12.

3. Selection of rice mill for custom milling of paddy

(1) Paddy purchased by the Custom Mill Rice agencies shall be custom milled by the selected rice millers of the State on contractual basis as per provisions of this Order.

(a) For being eligible for custom milling, rice millers shall have to apply along with relevant information as may be provided for in the guidelines in pursuance to this Order.

(b) After verification of the genuineness of those information supplied by the rice millers, the Custom Mill Rice Agency may select optimum number of rice mills subject to fulfilment of eligibility criteria as may be fixed by the Custom Mill Rice Agency with the concurrence of State Government depending upon availability of paddy in a particular area, number of rice mills operating, requirement of rice for Targeted Public Distribution System in that district etc.

(2) The option for registration is available to all the functioning rice mills of the State to apply and to get registered with the Custom Mill Rice agencies:

(3) (a) If any rice mill is unwilling to do so and the State Government feels that the demands of paddy procurement needs the milling facility, it may assign such milling to a unwilling rice mill up to 30% of its capacity for which the said rice mill shall be bound to accept paddy and deliver resultant rice to State Government or to the Food Corporation of India as per norms prescribed in the order.

(b) Such rice mills, in turn, shall be entitled to get the milling charges and other fees as would be admissible as per relevant Government order and such payment shall be made by the concerned Custom Mill Rice Agency.

4. Paddy to conform the specification

All paddy purchased by the State Government or its designated agencies or the Food Corporation of India shall conform to the specifications laid down in Schedule I of these Orders.

5. Mode of purchase of paddy by Custom Mill Rice agencies

Every designated agency shall, with the approval of the State Government, purchase paddy at a price, not below Minimum Support Price, from farmers following one or all mechanism, as mentioned herein below: –

(i) Paddy purchase through Centralised Procurement Centres;

(ii) Paddy purchase by organising Direct Purchase Camps;

(iii) Paddy purchase through Co-operative Societies/ Procuring Societies;

(iv) Paddy purchase at Mill-gates directly by Custom Mill Rice agencies.

6. Purchase of paddy through Direct Purchase Camps

Direct Purchase Camps shall be organised by Custom Mill Rice Agency to purchase paddy directly from farmers in areas not covered otherwise and as per need of the area specially to prevent distress sale of paddy.

7. Purchase of Paddy at Mill-gates by Custom Mill Rice Agencies

(1) If the situation so warrants the Sub-Division Level Monitoring Committee / District Level Monitoring Committee shall, with the approval of the State Government, allow purchase of paddy at Mill-gates directly from farmers at Minimum Support Price and in such cases the concerned mill shall not purchase at its own account during such operation.

(2) The State Government may issue guidelines for the purpose of the operation of purchase of paddy at mill gates by Custom Mill Rice agencies.

8. Obligation for Custom Milling of paddy by a Rice Miller and delivery of resultant Custom Mill Rice thereof on behalf of Government Agencies

(1) Every designated agency shall select rice miller for the purpose of Custom Milling of paddy by entering into an agreement with them in such form and on such conditions as may be specified by the State Government.

(2) Every rice miller has the obligation to accept the paddy delivered to him by or on behalf of designated agency as per the terms and conditions of the agreement and supply resultant Custom Milled rice to the designated agency directly or through Co-operative Societies working on behalf of it with an output of, –

(i) 68 kilogram rice per 100 kilograms paddy in case of pre-boiled rice, and

(ii) 67 kilograms of rice per 100 kilograms of paddy in case of raw rice, conforming uniform specifications of Government of India in Schedule III.

(3) Every rice miller shall have to complete milling of entire quantity of paddy within the such period, as specified by the State Government, from the date of receipt of paddy and to ensure delivery of the resultant Custom Mill Rice to State Government or to Food Corporation of India as per direction of the District Controller of Food & Supplies Department.

(4) Every rice miller as may be selected by the Custom Mill Rice agencies shall have to execute a contractual agreement with them for custom milling of paddy and to abide by the terms and conditions of the agreement.

(5) The agreement, inter alia, shall specify clearly that –

(i) The rice mill must turn up in time and lift the allotted paddy from the godowns of tagged Co-operative societies, Direct Purchase Camps, or Central Procurement Centre as the case may be;

(ii) The rice mill shall mill the paddy within the stipulated time frame;

(iii) It shall deliver the resultant rice in time as per direction of the District Controller of Food & Supplies (DCF&S);

(iv) The rice delivered must have the desired quantity at the prescribed out turn ratio and conform to the requisite quality specifications;

(6) In the event of breach of any clause of contractual agreement or any directions as may be issued by the Director or State Government from time to time in this regard shall be deemed to be violation of this Order and attract penal action in terms of this Order.

(7) The State Government shall issue separate guidelines as to the use of gunny bags, books of accounts to be maintained by rice mill, checking of quality and quantity of paddy and rice, mode of delivery of Custom Mill Rice, Weight, Quality & Stock Certificate (WQSC) and Weighment Certificate and it shall be obligatory on the part of a rice mill to follow it.

(8) The Custom Mill Rice agencies as well as the rice millers shall adhere to Information and Communication Technology (ICT) based reporting system for procurement of paddy and deliver) of Custom Mill Rice.

9. Obligation of Custom Mill Rice Agencies

(1) The Custom Mill Rice agencies duly empowered by the State Government shall be responsible to purchase paddy.

(2) Selection of societies in the vicinity of Central Procurement Centre, selection of rice mills for delivery of paddy where more than one rice mill is available, tagging of rice mills in case of shut-down of any rice mill or emergence of new Central Procurement Centre, shall be regulated by guideline to be issued by the Food & Supplies Department.

(3) Tagging of mills with the Central Procurement Centres will be done on the basis of distance, capacity of the mills and of course, availability of rice mills.

(4) Mill gate purchase of paddy by Custom Mill Rice agencies may be organised in case such a need arise, in case no Central Procurement Centre is operational in the vicinity, under directions by the Government from time to time.

(5) The Custom Mill Rice agencies must arrange for having daily reports from fields through ICT based / web based reporting system and furnish a consolidated report in respect of paddy purchased, milled, rice offered to Government or Food Corporation of India and rice delivered.

10. Safe Custody of Paddy by Rice Mill and Inspection of Rice Mills

(1) Stocks of paddy kept in the godown of a rice mill must always be segregated and marked as paddy of Custom Mill Rice.

(2) The authority shall have the right to inspect the paddy and check vis-a-vis the rice delivered against the paddy received by the Mill at any point of time.

(3) The Custom Mill Rice stock of paddy should be clearly identified and arranged in a countable position and if it cannot be counted properly while inspection it would be deemed as violation of the order.

(4) If any discrepancy is detected, the authorised personnel of Custom Mill Rice agencies, the inspecting officer, not below the rank of Sub-Inspector of Food & Supplies Department, shall report to the competent authority for taking penal action for violation of the provision of this Order.

11. Constitution and functions of District Level Monitoring Committee

(1) There shall be a District Level Monitoring Committee constituted for the purpose of discharging the functions and duties mentioned under these order comprising of.-

(i) District Magistrate – Chairman;

(ii) Karmadhyaksha of Khadya-O-Sarbaraha Sthayee Samity of Zilla Parishad – Member

(iii) Additional District Magistrate in-charge of Food Matter – Member

(iv) Area Manager of Food Corporation of India – Member

(v) Superintendent of Police, District Enforcement Branch – Member

(vi) Assistant Registrar of Co-operative Societies – Member

(vii) Deputy Director of Agriculture (Administration) – Member

(viii) Agricultural Marketing Officer/ Asstt. Director of Agricultural Marketing (Admin.) – Member

(ix) District Co-ordinator of Lead Bank – Member

(x) Chief Executive Officer, Central Co-operative Bank, in the district – Member

(xi) One representatives each from the Custom Mill Rice Agencies of the district – Member

(xii) President and Secretary of Rice Mills Owners’ Association of the district – Member

(xiii) District Controller of Food & Supplies – Member

(2) All Members of Legislative Assembly of the district shall be special invitees to the above Committees.

(3) The District Level Monitoring Committee shall have the power to select areas wherefrom Custom Mill Rice agencies shall procure Fair Average Quality (FAQ) paddy either through selected Primary Agricultural Credit Society (PACS) or through Central Procurement Centres or by opening direct paddy purchase camps and the decision of District Level Monitoring Committee in this regard shall be binding on the Custom Mill Rice agencies.

(4) District Level Monitoring Committee shall meet at least once in a month to review the procurement operations in the district and adopt appropriate measures.
Provided that such decisions are not contrary to any guidelines of the Government.

(5) The minimum of 10 members are required to compose a quorum.

(6) District Level Monitoring Committee shall have powers and duties to, –

(a) formulate guidelines regarding identification of farmers, quantity of paddy a farmer shall be permitted to sell at a particular centre or to a Co-operative Society, publicity and advertisement for awareness of the farmers etc. In conformity with the general guidelines issued by the State Government;

(b) review procurement operation undertaken by the Food Corporation of India;

(c) to perform such other duties as may be entrusted by State Government from time to time for better management of procurement operations.

12. Duties and responsibilities of Sub-Division Level Monitoring Committee

(1) There shall be a Sub-Division Level Monitoring Committee constituted for the purpose of discharging the functions and duties mentioned under this order comprising of.—

(i) Sub-Divisional Officer of the concerned Sub-division – Chairman;

(ii) all Block Development Officers of the concerned Sub-division – Member

(iii) all Sabhapati of Panchayat Samities of the concerned Sub-Division – Member

(iv) Sub-Divisional Area Manager of Food Corporation of India – Member

(v) Sub-Divisional Police Officer concerned Sub-Division – Member

(vi) Assistant Registrar of Co-operative Societies – Member

(vii) Deputy Director of Agriculture (Administration) – Member

(viii) Assistant Director of Agricultural Marketing (Administrative) and Assistant Agricultural Marketing Officer (Administrative) of Agricultural Marketing Department – Member

(ix) Assistant Director of Agriculture (Administration) in Sub-division and Block Level of Agriculture Department – Member

(x) Assistant Register of Co-operative Society of Co-operation Department – Member

(xi) Representatives of Custom Mill Rice Agencies – Member

(xii) President and Secretary of Rice Mills Owners’ Association – Member

(xiii) Sub-divisional Controller of Food & Supplies – Member-Convener

(2) All Members of Legislative Assembly of the concerned sub-division shall be special invitees to the above Committee.

(3) The Sub-Division Level Monitoring Committee shall meet at least twice a month.

(4) A minimum of 10 members are required to compose a quorum.

(5) The Sub-Division Level Monitoring Committee shall have powers and duties to-

(a) review procurement operations including timely delivery of Custom Mill Rice and follow-up on decisions taken by the District Level Monitoring Committee.

(b) adopt suitable measures so that farmers, specially small and marginal farmers, can freely sell their paddy at Minimum Support Price.

(c) take steps so that farmers can sell their produce on the day they bring it to a centre.

(d) do such other duties as may be entrusted by the District Level Monitoring Committee or the State Government, as the case may be;

(6) The Sub-Division Level Monitoring Committee shall submit a report to District Level Monitoring Committee after every meeting highlighting the actions taken by it and suggestions, if any, thereof.

13. Procurement Prices

(1) For the purpose of this order the procurement prices for different varieties and grades of paddy and rice shall, subject to provisions of sub-clause (2), (3) and (4) be as per rate fixed for the State by the Central Government.

(2) The rates specified in sub-clause (1) are inclusive of all taxes and statutory charges including those leviable at the rice stage.

(3) The rates specified in sub-clause (1) are for paddy, parboiled and raw rice of fair average quality of both Common and Grade ‘A’ varieties. The rates shall be reduced by the amount of cuts indicated in the notes below the Schedule-II.

Explanation: “Common” and “Grade-A” mean respectively the varieties of paddy and rice, specified in column (1) and (2) of Schedule-1 V and conforming to the formula indicated in the table below and include such other varieties of rice as the State Government may, by notification, classified as Common or Grade “A” in accordance with the formula indicated in the table below:-

Table

Length-Breadth ratio of the Rice Kernel of any varietyClassification of the Variety
Below – 2.5Common
2.5 and aboveGrade – ‘A’

(4) Any changes made by the Government of India from time to time shall be applicable.

14. Replacement or reconditioning of rice offered for delivery

(1) In case any stock of rice offered for delivery by the millers in pursuance of clause 8 does not conform to the specifications laid down in Schedule-II, it shall be replaced or reconditioned or rectified by the miller at his own cost and risk so as to bring it in conformity with such specifications:

Provided that no rice shall be replaceable once it has been duly accepted, entries recorded and stored in the godowns. Any detection of non-standard rice detected after acceptance in godown shall lead to penal measures as prescribed under the provision of this Control Order.

15. Duty to comply with order or direction

Every miller and Co-operative society shall comply with such order or direction as is issued under the power conferred by or under this order.

16. Power to exempt in special cases

If the State Government, having regard to the conditions prevailing in any area, considers it necessary or expedient so to do in the public interest, it may by notification exempt or relax, subject to such conditions or restriction, as it may deem fit and proper, exempt such class or classes of millers in that area as it may specify in the notification, from the operation of all or any of the provisions of this order.

17. Maintenance of register and furnishing returns

(1) A separate register shall be maintained to keep records of paddy received, milled and rice delivered by the miller undertaking custom milling operation for State Government or designated agency or Food Corporation of India, as the case may be.

(2) Every Miller shall furnish weekly return to the District Controller (Food & Supplies) containing an abstract of the above accounts and a monthly return which must reach the District Controller, Food & Supplies as per format as may be provided by District Controller, Food & Supplies or by the Director, District Distribution of Procurement & Supply (DDP&S).

18. Periodical verification of the stock with the miller

The Director or such other Officers in the Department of Food and Supplies not below the rank of a Sub-Inspector may periodically, which shall not be less than once a week, verify the stock of rice, paddy on agency’s account in the rice mill and issue a Certificate recording his finding to the miller and a copy of the certificate shall also be given to the Purchase Officer and to the District Controller, F&S.

19. Power of the State Government

The State Government shall have power to issue regulatory orders or guidelines in the matter of procurement of paddy by designated agencies and delivery of resultant rice as per obligation, there of, if State Government considers it so necessary, for better management of procurement operations and for maintenance of transparency in the system including web based system of delivery of information.

20. Power to inspect, search, seizure etc.

(1) For the purposes of securing compliance with this order or to satisfy himself that provisions of this order have been complied with, the Collector, or the Director, or such officer of the State Government not below the rank of Sub-Inspector as may be authorised by the Collector or the Director, or any Police Officer not below the rank of a Sub-Inspector shall have power to –

(a) inspect or cause to be inspected any book of accounts or documents as well as any stock of rice or paddy belonging to or under the control of a miller;

(b) require any person to give any information in his possession with respect to any undertaking or business for production or manufacture of rice or for purchase, sale or storage for sale of rice or paddy;

(c) enter and search, with such aid or assistance as may be necessary, any rice mill and storing godowns or other premises;

(d) Seize and remove with such aid or assistance as may be necessary-

(i) any stock of rice or paddy in respect of which or a part of which, he has reason to believe, a contravention of any of the provisions of this order has been, is being, or is about to be committed;

(ii) any package, covering or receptacle in which such stock of rice or paddy is found; and

(iii) the animals, vehicle, vessel or other conveyance used in carrying such stock of rice or paddy if he has reason to believe that such animal, vehicle, vessel or other conveyance is liable to be forfeited under the provisions of the Act and thereafter take or authorised to take all measures necessary under the provisions of section 6A of the said Act for securing the production of the package, covering, receptacle, animal, vehicle, vessel or other conveyance so seized, before the Collector of the district or the Presidency town or Judicial authority appointed by the Government under section 6C of the said Act, and for their safe custody pending such production;

(e) Seize and remove any book of accounts or documents which, in his opinion, shall be useful for, relevant to, any proceeding in respect of any contravention of this order and allow the person from whose custody such books of accounts or documents is seized to make copies thereof or to take extracts therefrom in his presence and lodge complaint with the police as per existing law.

(2) Any contravention of any provision on the part of a rice miller shall be dealt with the provisions made in the Act.

(3) Notwithstanding anything contained in clause (1), the State Government, or Director or Collector may, for proper implementation of the provisions of this order, authorise an officer, not below the rank of an Assistant Manager of the designated agency, to exercise the powers mentioned in clause (1).

21. Penalty for contravention of this Order

(1) If any person, organisation, society, or rice mill contravenes any provision of this Order he shall be liable to the following penal measures: –

(a) If a selected rice miller does not turn up for receiving paddy, measures for such compliance shall be taken in terms of the Agreement signed between the Custom Mill Rice agency and the rice Mill.

(b) The stock of rice which is not in conformity with the admissible specification shall be liable to be rejected at the cost of rice miller;

(c) Any short delivery of Custom Mill Rice and/ or not in conformity to the quality shall be the responsibility and liability of the rice mill and shall be recovered from their bills;

(d) In case of delayed milling and late delivery of Custom Mill Rice, penalty in the form of fine as may be specified in the guidelines shall be imposed on the rice mills;

(e) In the event of failure to deliver the full quantity or a part quantity of Custom Mill Rice the concerned society or the designated agency shall recover the entire costs with consequences thereof from the miller and shall take appropriate legal action against the mill.

Explanation – The cost will be calculated equal to an amount on the basis of Minimum Support Price of paddy, Mandi Labour Charges (handling charges), Transportation Charges for transportation of paddy as per Provisional Economic Cost Sheet, approved by the Government of India, for the particular Kharif Marketing Season/Rabi Marketing Season along with an annual interest at the rate of 11% and shall be recoverable from the rice mill.

22. Repeal and savings

(1) The West Bengal Rice Mills (Control and Levy) and Custom Mill Rice Obligation Order, 2014, are hereby repealed:

(2) Notwithstanding the repeal under sub-clause (1), such repeal shall not,-

(a) affect the services, operation of the Order of anything duly done or suffered there under;

(b) affect any right, privilege, obligation or liability, acquired or accorded or ensured under the said Order;

(c) affect any penalty, forfeiture or punishment incurred in respect of any offence committed against the said Order;

(d) affect any investigation, legal proceeding or remedy in respect of any such right, privilege, obligation, liability, penalty, forfeiture or punishment as aforesaid, any such investigation, legal proceeding or remedy may be instituted, continued or endorsed on any such penalty, forfeiture or punishment may be imposed as if the said Order had not been repealed.

By order of the Governor,

(ANIL VERMA)
Principal Secretary to the
Government of West Bengal &
Food Commissioner,
Food & Supplies Department

No. 3774-FS dated 30.12.2015, Source

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