Why in news?
The stock of foodgrains available with the Food Corporation of India is “comfortable” to manage the situation till March 2021, but it would be an exaggeration to hold that the stock is “far in excess” of the buffer stock requirement, which should include additional allocation, according to the Chairman and Managing Director of the FCI.
- A pandemic, as we are witnessing today, is a different situation and it may demand a revision of the existing norms in view of the additional allocation of foodgrains at 5 kg a person, as being done under the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Ann Yojana (PMGKAY) for three months (April to June this year in the light of the coronavirus (COVID-19).
- In essence, the buffer norms now need to take into account the additional allocation too.
- In the remaining period of April, May and June, it is expected that there will be an outflow of 200 lakh tonnes for the regular NFSA scheme, 5 kg free for each NFSA beneficiaries given under PMGKAY and the new schemes introduced for non-NFSA cardholders and NGOs.
- As the Kharif procurement season for rice is approaching an end and wheat procurement has just started, the stock position at our warehouses will naturally be high on July 1.
- Wheat being once a year crop, it has to be stocked from July for almost a year to meet the year-long demand by the Targeted Public Distribution System (TPDS) till the arrival of the next crop.
- Similarly, we will have to wait at least for six months to start receiving the inflow of Kharif rice.
Food Corporation of India (FCI)
- Food Corporation of India (FCI) is a Public Sector Undertaking, under the Department of Food & Public Distribution, Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution, GOI.
- It is a statutory body set up in 1965 under the Food Corporations Act, 1964.
- It was established against the backdrop of major grains shortage, especially of wheat.
Objectives of FCI
- To provide farmers remunerative prices
- To make food grains available at reasonable prices, particularly to vulnerable sections of society
- To maintain buffer stocks for food security
- To intervene in market for price stabilization