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FCI to dispose 100 lakh tonne of wheat, 50 lakh tonne of rice in ’19-20
Tuesday, 14 May, 2019, 08 : 00 AM [IST]
Ashwani Maindola, New Delhi
The Food Corporation of India (FCI) has decided to dispose around 100 lakh tonne of wheat and 50 lakh tonne of rice to bulk customers this fiscal, which is about 40 per cent more than the previous year’s sale.

The Government has, in this regard, released tenders for the procurement through a government order recently.

According to an official with FCI, this was being done under the open market sale scheme (OMSS).

The order stated that the quantum of the sale of wheat had been fixed at 100 lakh tonne, adding that it would, however, be reviewed by the Department of Food and Public Distribution if the offtake was more.

For wheat, the govrnment’s offer was Rs 2,080 per quintal for the states of Punjab, Haryana and Madhya Pradesh for the first quarter of this fiscal, while Rs 2,135, Rs 2,190 and Rs 2,245 was the offered price for the rest of the three quarters of the fiscal 2019-20.

The order added that for other states, railway freight, ex Ludhiana to nearest railhead and road transportation cost from railhead to depot, where the sale is undertaken, will be added to the reserve prices.

Last fiscal, 69,14,900 metric tonne of wheat was sold to the bulk consumers.

For rice, reserve price of Grade A rice will be taken as Rs 2,785 per quintal for auction upto September 30, 2019, while from October, the price shall depend upon the MSP (minimum support price) for the paddy grade A.

The quantum of the rice for the sale through OMSS has been fixed at 50 lakh metric  tonne. However, this also is subject to review.

Last fiscal, around 1,400 metric tonne of rice was sold to the bulk consumers.

According to FCI, the stocks of food grains as on March 31, 2019 was 493.86 lakh tonne, which included 293.94 lakh tonne of rice and 169.92 lakh tonne of wheat.

Also, the FCI has earlier disposed around 2.97 lakh tonne of pulses it has procured over last two years to various states and to bulk consumers. The pulses comprised tur, masoor, moong and urad and was sold to through the OMSS.  

According to a statement issued by C R Chaudhary, minister of state for food and public distribution, in Lok Sabha earlier this year, “On the basis of peak stock requirement during normal procurement season, the overall storage capacity required for central pool foodgrains in the country is about 650 lakh metric tonne (LMT).”

Against this, the total storage capacity available with Food Corporation of India (FCI), Central Warehousing Corporation (CWC) and State Agencies (both owned and hired capacity), is 851.54 LMT (as on December 31, 2018) comprising 724.79 LMT in covered godowns and 126.75 LMT in cover and plinth (CAP) storage. As such, there is sufficient capacity for storage of Central pool foodgrains at the national level.

Chaudhary said that the foodgrains are stored scientifically with various preservation measures like fumigation and treatment with pesticides. In spite of taking necessary care and precautions, small quantities of foodgrains may become non-issuable due to various reasons like natural calamities, damages in transit, negligence of officials, etc.
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