Rapid progress in implementation of National Food Security Act, 2013
Major reforms in Public Distribution System (PDS) since June, 2014.
Procurement processes improved to enable efficient and wider coverage of farmers
Multiple policy initiatives taken for Sugar Sector
New initiatives taken to upgrade and modernize storage capacity.
The National Food Security Act was enacted in 2013 and was being implemented in only 11 States/UTs in May, 2014. This has been given special attention and as on April, 2016, 33 States/UTs are now implementing the Act.
The Government achieved significant milestones in reform of PDS by making it more transparent and leak proof. Digitisation of ration cards has been completed in all States/UTs while it was just 15 in June 2014, the number of States/UTs with online foodgrains allocations increased to 25 from 5 in June 2014 and toll free numbers/ online grievance redressal system has now been introduced by all States/UTs. Direct cash transfer of food subsidy to the beneficiaries started in Chandigarh and Puducherry in September, 2015. In Dadra & Nagar Haveli, two areas have started DBT from March, 2016.
Based on the recommendation of High Level Committee (HLC) on restructuring of FCI, procurement policy for paddy modified to ensure increased reach of MSP operations to more farmers. Millers levy on rice was abolished. The Government also provided relief to the farmers during the year 2015-16 by relaxing procurement norms for their crops affected by the unprecedented rains & hailstorms.
Due to sustained efforts to facilitate payment of cane arrears of 2014-15, which was Rs. 21,000 crore at peak in April, 2015 have come down to Rs. 896 crore as on 27.04.2016.
Improving Foodgrain Management
A High Level Expert Committee under the Chairmanship of Shri Shanta Kumar, MP, was constituted to make recommendations on re-structuring of FCI. Based on the recommendations, several measures have been initiated to improve the functioning of FCI and to bring in cost efficiency in its operations.
To bring all operations of FCI Godowns online and to check leakage and automate operations at the depot level, “Depot Online” system has been launched in 31 Depots on pilot basis across 27 States on 17th March, 2016. As on 03.05.2016, this system has been implemented in 100 depots.
Sufficient food grains are available in Central Pool Stocks of FCI. Stocks as on 16.05.2016 are 511.65 lakh MT, comprising 301.11 lakh MT wheat and 210.54 lakh MT rice.
Besides 12 States/UTs which are already under Decentralized Procurement (DCP), Telangana has become a new DCP State for procurement of rice and Andhra Pradesh & Punjab have also adopted this system partially during 2014-15 to improve the efficiency of foodgrains procurement and distribution operations.
Under Open Market Sale Scheme (Domestic), 70.77 lakh MT wheat and 1.11 lakh MT rice has been sold by FCI during 2015-16. The sale of wheat during 2015-16 is higher than the quantum of 42.37 lakh MT wheat released during the previous year 2014-15. Sale of rice was not undertaken under the scheme during 2014-15. Further, during 2016-17, a target of 65-75 lakh MT wheat and 20 lakh MT Grade ‘A’ rice has been set for sale out of Central Pool under this scheme. The said target of wheat will be reviewed, if situation changes after wheat procurement is over and its central Pool surplus as on 1st July, 2016 is exactly known.
Adequate supply of food grains made using multi-modal transport in North Eastern States despite disruption in rail route due to gauge conversion from Lumding to Badarpur. 80,000 MT foodgrains moved through roads every month. 20000 MT foodgrains also inducted into Tripura via Bangladesh through riverine route during Mega Block.
1,10,531 MTs of rice have been moved from Andhra Pradesh to Kerala for the first time through riverine/coastal movement in 2014-15 and 9596 MT in 2015-16 (upto December, 2015).
Adequate supplies of food grains maintained during natural calamities of Hud-Hud cyclone in Andhra Pradesh and devastating floods in J&K.
The Government has revised the buffer norms w.e.f. January, 2015 and Nomenclature of buffer norms has been changed to “Foodgrain stocking norms for the Central Pool”. The Government has revised the norms for better management of foodgrain stocks.
100 MT of rice was sent to Myanmar to help the flood affected pocket near Manipur border.
500 MT of Rice was supplied to Zimbabwe as humanitarian assistance.
The storage losses for the financial year 2015-16 has been brought down to -0.06% which was 0.14% during May, 2014. Also, the transit losses which was 0.45% during May, 2014 has now been reduced to 0.42%.
814.84 lakh MT storage capacity is available for central pool stocks of food grains.
New Godowns having capacity of 13.45 lakh MT under Private Entrepreneurs Guarantee (PEG) Scheme, 1.08 lakh MT under Plan Scheme in North East and 2.40 lakh MT through CWC have been added.
A transformation plan for the Warehousing Development and Regulatory Authority (WDRA) has been initiated to streamline the warehousing sector. The work for creation of IT platform and rewriting of rules and procedures has been initiated.
A road map for creation of 100 lakh MT storage capacity in the form of Steel Silos by FCI and other agencies including State Governments on PPP mode for wheat and rice has been approved. Letter of Award (LoA) has been issued by Food Corporation of India (FCI) in March, 2016 to the selected bidders for total 2.5 lakh MT capacity at 6 locations, namely Changsari (Assam), Narela (Delhi), Sahnewal (Punjab), Kotkapura (Punjab), Kaithar (Bihar) and Whitefield (Karnataka). Capacity 4.5 Lakh MT of silos has been created in Madhya Pradesh by the State Government. Work of 3.5 lakh MT has been awarded in Punjab by the State Government.
611.10 lakh MT of foodgrains have been allocated to States/UTs for distribution under Targeted Public Distribution System (TPDS) and other Welfare Schemes during 2015-16.
The Central Government also decided to share 50% (75% in the case of Hilly and difficult areas) of the cost of handling & transportation of foodgrains incurred by the states and the dealer’s margin so that it is not passed on to the beneficiaries and they get coarse grain @ Rs. 1/Kg, wheat @ Rs. 2/Kg and rice @ Rs. 3/Kg.