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Steps to improve foodgrains management

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The Government has taken a number of steps to reform food management and control inflation in the country. The Food Corporation of India (FCI) is upgrading its godowns to ensure safe of foodgrains. The older stocks have been issued and liquidated on priority and at present the stocks available with FCI are of last two crop years only.

Laboratory and training structure is continuously upgraded to strengthen the quality control mechanism and to monitor the quality of foodgrains at the time of procurement, and distribution so as to avoid damage to foodgrains.

States are encouraged to adopt Decentralised Procurement (DCP) system to maximise procurement and to ensure better reach of MSP to farmers. Select godowns have been identified for mechanization of handling operations.

Under Private entrepreneur Guarantee Scheme (PEG) Government has created a capacity of 120.30 lakh tonnes upto 30.06.2014 in various locations in 19 states for proper storage of foodgrains procured for central pool. For storage modernization, the Government has also approved construction of 20 lakh tonnes of storage capacity in silos.

End-to-end computerisation of the Targeted Public Distribution is being undertaken as one of the reforms stipulated under the National Food Security Act 2013. This information was given by Minister of State for Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution Raosaheb Patil Danve in a written reply in Lok Sabha today.

The minister said that the government had taken a number of steps to check prices of rice and wheat which include:

  • Reduced duties to zero – for wheat.
  • Imposed stock limits in respect of paddy and rice up to 30.11.2014.
  • Maintained the Central Issue Price (CIP) for rice (at Rs 5.65 per kg for Below Poverty Line (BPL) and Rs 3 per kg for Antyodaya Anna Yojna (AAY) and wheat (at Rs 4.15 per kg for BPL and Rs 2 per kg for AAY) since 2002.
  • Suspended Futures trading in rice.
  • During 2014-15 Government has allocated 100 lakh tonnes of wheat for sale under Open Market Sale Scheme (OMSS).
  • Released additional five million tonnes of Rice to BPL & APL families in states pending implementation of National Food Security Act (NFSA) between July 2014 & March 2015.
  • The Government is also implementing the Essential Commodities Act, 1955, and the Prevention of Black Marketing and Maintenance of Supplies of Essential Commodities Act, 1980, with the objective of preventing hoarding and black marketing of essential commodities.
  • Issued advisory to State Govts. to take concerted action against hoarding & black marketing Act 1955 & The Prevention of Black Marketing and Maintenance of Supply of Essential Commodities Act (PBMMSEC Act) 1980 effectively.

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