New Delhi: Government of India has directed Food Corporation of India (FCI) to provide food grains @5 Kg per person per month for 3 months at the rates of Rs. 21/Kg for wheat and Rs. 22/Kg for rice uniformly across the country to all beneficiaries not covered under NFSA to whom ration cards have been issued by state governments under their schemes. States have been given the option to lift these stocks in one go or on monthly basis over 3 months upto June 2020.
In order to support the NGOs/Charitable organizations involved in relief operations, Government has given directions to FCI to provide wheat @Rs. 21/Kg and Rice @22/Kg uniformly across the country to all such organizations without any upper limit on quantity. These directions are expected to have a salutary effect on the food grain supply position in the country by ensuring that every section of the society is provided access to adequate food grains at reasonable prices during the Covid 19 pandemic.
As part of the mammoth exercise being undertaken by FCI to move food grain stocks across the country to feed the largest Food Security system in the world covering more than 81 crore people through 5.3 Lakh Fair Price Shops (FPS), a new milestone was created on 09.04.20 when the agency transported 77 rakes carrying about 2.16 Lakh MT. With this, the total food grain stocks transported by FCI since lock down is nearing 2.5 Million Metric Tonnes.
Under the PM Garib Kalyan Ann Yojana (PMGKAY), a total of 12.1 MMT of food grains are being supplied to 81 crore people in 3 months @5 Kg per person. FCI is fully geared up to meet the challenge of positioning such large quantity of grain in every state as per their distribution plans. Special efforts are being made to move a record quantity of 6 LMT boiled rice by end of April to West Bengal to meet the state’s requirement under PMGKAY. Plans have been worked out to move boiled rice from Chhattisgarh, Telangana and Odisha as these states contribute maximum boiled rice to the national pool. However, in order to create adequate storage space for induction of boiled rice into the state, FCI has already requested West Bengal government to speed up lifting of available wheat stocks from its warehouses.
Along with undertaking transportation of stocks at unprecedented levels post-lockdown, FCI is carrying out procurement of rice in states like Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Odisha, Chhattisgarh etc. It is also gearing up to start acceptance of wheat of winter crop in major procuring states like Punjab, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, UP, Rajasthan etc. as per the procurement plans being worked out by the respective state governments according to the safety protocols of social distancing. With the anticipated procurement of about 40 MMT Wheat and 9 MMT Rice during Rabi season, the food grain stocks in national pool will be fully replenished ensuring that there is no threat to the Food Security of the country.