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Central Pool consists of 465.60 lakh tonne wheat, 275.8 lakh tonne rice
Thursday, 11 July, 2019, 13 : 00 PM [IST]
Our Bureau, New Delhi
The stock of foodgrains in the Central Pool in June 2019 was 741.41 lakh tonne. It consisted of 275.81 lakh tonne of rice and 465.60 lakh tonne of wheat.

The Government of India enacted the National Food Security Act (NFSA) in July 2013, which gives legal entitlement to 67 per cent of the population (75 per cent in rural areas and 50 per cent in urban areas) to receive highly subsidised foodgrains.

Under the Act, foodgrain was allocated at 5kg per person per month for priority households category and at 35kg per family per month for AAY (Antyodaya Anna Yojana) families at a highly subsidised prices of Re 1, Rs 2 and Rs 3 per kg for nutri-cereals, wheat and rice, respectively.

Coverage under the Act was based on the population figures of Census, 2011. The Act is now being implemented in all 36 states and UTs (Union Territories) and covers about 81.35 crore persons. The annual allocation of foodgrain under the National Food Security Act and other welfare schemes is about 610 lakh metric tonne.

The coverage of the sugar subsidy scheme introduced with effect from June 2013, after de-regulation of sugar sector, targeted the Below Poverty Line (BPL) population (inclusive of the poorest of the poor persons in the country, i.e., AAY families) and the populations of all the North-Eastern States/Special Category States/Hilly States and Island Territories.

Now, the NFSA is being universally implemented in the country. There is no identified category of BPL under the NFSA. However, the AAY beneficiaries are clearly identified. As such, the Government of India has reviewed the Sugar Subsidy Scheme and decided to continue it for AAY families with effect from June 2017. The Central Government is reimbursing a fixed subsidy of Rs 18.50 per kg at 1Kg per month per AAY family to participating States/UTs.

In order to liquidate the excess stock of foodgrain in the Central Pool, the Government of India avails the available options of disposal of the excess stock of foodgrain through the Open Market Sale Scheme (OMSS) and export on government-to-government basis, as export from public stockholding is not compliant to WTO norms.

Stock of wheat and rice are sold to bulk consumer/traders/state governments from the Central Pool at pre-determined prices in the open market from time to time through e-tender to enhance the supply especially during the lean season and in the deficit regions, and thereby to moderate the open market prices. A hundred lakh metric tonne of wheat and 50 lakh metric tonne of rice have been set as targets for sale under OMSS (D) during 2019-20.

This information was given by Danve Raosaheb Dadarao, minister of state for consumer affairs, food and public distribution, in a written reply in the Lok Sabha recently.
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