Wednesday, July 27, 2011

73 lakh tons of food grains storage capacity approved under the PEG Scheme.

Fashionclutch: The Minister of State for Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution Mr. Thomas sought to temper his warning with the assurance if a state government required more food grains it would be allocated under various schemes for BPL card holder. He strongly asked to sates to take measures to bring down damage of food gains during procurement, storage and transportation service.

The Minister pointed out that of the 73 lakh tons of food grains storage capacity approved under the Private Entrepreneurs Guarantee Scheme (PEG), 63 lakh tones worth of capacity has been sanctioned in the eight States. Punjab and Andhra Pradesh were asked to expedite the creation of extra storage capacity for 15.2 million tons of food grains.

The damage to food grains had come down from 2.5 per cent in 2007-08 to 0.07 per cent this year. The instructions have been given to FCI for introducing mechanization of food grains handling and optimum utilization of existing storage space in the states. Besides this, FCI has been directed to hire as much as possible additional space from private sources to supplement its efforts for proper storage of food grains.

At present the government has a storage capacity of 62.23 million tons of food grains as against burgeoning stocks at 65 million tones. As a result, a significant quantity is stored in the open.

The Empowered Group of Ministers had postponed a decision on the proposal to export 2 million tons of wheat “as international price of the commodity has dipped” said by Mr. Thomas.

Recently, the Centre government had allocated additional quantity of 50 lakh tons of food grain for below poverty line families and another 50 lakh tons for above poverty line families. Allocation of further fifty lakh tones for 150 poorer districts is also being worked out.

The government is planning to setup new additional covered storage capacity of more than 152 lakh across 19 states. The State Governments have also been requested to introduce a scheme for their own storage needs through PPP model.

The government is also taking all necessary steps to ensure that stocks are safely kept and proper quality control measures are taken for the same. During the meeting, these efforts will be reviewed further.