New Delhi: Food Corporation of India (FCI) moved 60 Lakh Metric Tonnes (LMT) food grains in the month of April 2020 surpassing the highest ever single month movement of 38 LMT achieved during March 2014 by 57%. This is more than two times the normal monthly average of about 30 LMT. The quantity includes road movement of about 1 LMT to Kashmir valley and Leh/Ladakh as well as about 0.81 LMT to north eastern states of Arunachal Pradesh and Meghalaya. About 0.1 LMT stocks was also moved to the islands of Andaman and Lakshadweep by sea.
Amidst the constraints created by the spread of Covid-19, FCI unloaded about 58 Lakh MT food grains stocks in various consuming states during the month of April 2020. Bihar received maximum stocks of about 7.7 LMT followed by Karnataka with about 7 LMT. With Covid-19 situation remaining very dynamic and frequent additions to hotspots and containment zones, this has been particularly challenging as many of the unloading centres have been located in such areas. However, FCI has been able to manage unloading of food grain stocks even in affected areas and distribution of the same to states for supply under Public Distribution System (PDS) with active cooperation of state governments.
The overall lifting of food grains from FCI under Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Ann Yojana (PMGKAY) under which food grains are supplied free of cost @5 Kg/person to about 80 crore people at 60 LMT has reached 50% of total allotment of about 120 Lakh MT. Enough food grains stocks have been positioned across the country by FCI to meet any demand of state governments for feeding the people affected due to Covid-19.
Meanwhile, procurement of wheat for the central pool crossed 130 Lakh MT with Punjab leading the chart with 68 LMT followed by Haryana (30 LMT) and Madhya Pradesh (25 LMT). With steady inflows of food grains through procurement, the overall central pool stocks position remains stable even after release of about 122 Lakh MT stocks under various schemes including NFSA and PMGKAY.