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26 May, 2020, 12:07 AM IST

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Wastage of grains in FCI godowns is negligible: Ram Vilas Paswan

“Similarly, the wastage for 2017-18 and 2018-19 was 0.003% and 0.006% respectively. In 2019-20, government purchased 75.17 million tonnes of foodgrains, out of which only 1930 tonnes were wasted, which is 0.002% of the total procurement,” he said.

  • The state governments have been supplied enough stocks to provide adequate food grains to all beneficiaries covered under NFSA. Apart from that, the centre has given state governments an option to lift food grains at reduced rate of Rs 21 a kg for wheat and Rs 22 a kg for rice for providing food security to even those who are not covered under NFSA.

    At present, over 81 crore beneficiaries are registered for subsidised foodgrains sold through ration shops under the National Food Security Act (NFSA).

    With steady inflows of food grains through procurement, the overall central pool stocks position remains stable even after release of about 12.2 million tonnes under various schemes including National Food Security Act (Act) and Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana (PMGKAY).

    The FCI also opened its depots for selling grains to millers though state governments, which has curtailed the week-long e-auction process and ease the supply when millers are apprehending a large supply disruption leading to ‘out of stock’ situation in grocery shops over next couple of days.

    ​​Police and local administration, specially in states of Punjab and Haryana from where surplus food grains have to be moved to other parts of the country, are not allowing FCI officials and workers to function as FCI has not been specifically included in the exemption list of essential services.

    FCI has transported 2.2 million tonnes of food grains to various parts of the country to help states distribute subsidised as well as free food grains to 810 million people under the PM Garib Kalyan Ann Yojana, which entitles them free allocation of 6 kg of rice or wheat for next three months.

    Food Corporation of India, the central agency which procures food grains for government and transports it to states, set a new record in single day movement by moving 70 rakes carrying 1.93 lakh tonnes continuously for two days on Friday and Saturday.

    We are also prepared to provide them 5 kg free foodgrain for the next three months, as announced under PM Garib Kalyan Ann Yojana (PMGKAY),” said Paswan.

    Farmer leaders said the situation is worse than demonetisation, which only delayed payments and did not damage the crop. But now, they said, losses will mount because it is harvest time for grapes, watermelons, bananas, muskmelon, chana, cotton, chillies, turmeric, jeera, coriander, onion and potato.

    FCI in a statement stated that as part of the Economic Measures (Atma Nirbhar Bharat), Government of India has allocated free food grain for the migrants, who are not covered under National Food Security Act (NFSA) or State Scheme PDS Cards, @ 5 kg per person per month free of cost for two months (May & June, 2020) to mitigate their plight during this precarious COVID-19 situation.

    The govt has announced few steps, but quantum of aid & coverage of beneficiaries should be expanded.

    Announcing this, the union minister for food and consumer affairs minister Ram Vilas Paswan said that the government is committed to provide all possible security to our Corona-warriors engaged in providing essentials and services to the common man during these times of crisis.

    State intervention in agricultural markets is counterproductive. Govt has emerged as the single largest procurer and hoarder of foodgrains.

    Subsidies released to the FCI have been steadily declining.

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