For maintaining supplies and securing availability and distribution of essential commodity mainly foodgrains under TPDS, Department has made amendment to rules to ensure that highly subsidised foodgrains reaches to the intended beneficiary.
Implementation of Component-I of the Scheme on End-to-End Computerization of TPDS in States/UTs is in progress. Guidelines for FPS automation shared with all States/UTs. In Jan, 2015, a MoU was signed with STQC (Directorate under DeitY) to certify the PoS devices and Mobile terminal.
Sustained efforts have resulted in significant reforms in TPDS making it more transparent and leak proof and better targeting of food subsidy. Improvement in main components for this purpose was as follows:-
Toll free numbers/ online grievance redressal system implemented
Direct Cast Transfer in PDS launched
In order to facilitate direct cash transfer of food subsidy to the beneficiaries, Government has notified “Cash Transfer of Food Subsidy Rules, 2015” on 21.08.2015 under the NFSA. These rules provide that Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) scheme will be implemented in a State/ UT with the consent of the concerned State Government/UT Administration. Accordingly, keeping in view of checking of leakage and diversions, this Department is pursuing with States/UTs to opt for DBT scheme in lieu of foodgrains under which subsidy component will be credited to bank accounts of beneficiaries who will be free to buy foodgrains from anywhere in the market. For taking up this model, pre-requisites for the States/UTs would be to complete digitization of beneficiary data and seed Aadhaar and bank account details of beneficiaries. The scheme has been launched in Chandigarh and Puducherry w.e.f. September, 2015 and partially in Dadra & Nagar Haveli (2 Districts) from March 2016.
Supporting the Farmer
In order to give relief to the farmers affected by the unprecedented rains & hailstorms, Government relaxed the quality norms for the wheat procurement to the maximum possible. The Central Government decided to reimburse the amount of value cut imposed on such relaxation to the State Government/their agencies so that farmers can get full Minimum Support Price (MSP) even for shrivelled and broken wheat grains having lustre loss. Such a farmer’s centric step was taken for the first time by the Central Government.
Govt. agencies procured 280.88 lakh MT wheat during RMS 2015-16, providing relief to the farmers affected by freak rains and hailstorm. During RMS 2016-17, Govt. agencies have procured 193.54 lakh MT wheat as on 27.04.2016.
he Government imposed custom import duty on Wheat @ 10% w.e.f. 07.08.2015 and it was enhanced from 10% to 25% w.e.f. 19.10.2015 applicable upto 31.03.2016 to help the Indian Farmers. Custom duty has been extended till 30.06.2016 on existing rate of 25%.
The Government has also relaxed procurement norms of paddy and resultant rice during KMS 2015-16 in affected areas of Andhra Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh on the request of State Government to help the farmers and to avoid the distress sale.
The drop in international prices of imported oils was affecting the prices of domestically produced edible oils consequent upon which farmers’ interest was affected. Department of Food and Public Distribution had recommended an increase in the import duty on edible oils with a dynamic range which varies according to international prices. Accordingly, Department of Revenue, vide Notification No. 46/2015-Customs dated 17.09.2015 increased the import duty on Crude oils from existing 7.5% to 12.5% and the import duty on Refined oils from existing 15% to 20%.
With effect from 01.10.2015, levy of rice on millers has been discontinued. This will save farmers from exploitation and now they will not depend on millers for selling their paddy. This initiative has improved delivery of MSP to the farmers for paddy even in the situation of market prices ruling below the MSP, especially in the states of Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal, where the farmers are substantially dependent on millers for selling their paddy.
Enhancing procurement in Eastern India
State-wise 5-year Action Plans have been drawn up by FCI for Uttar Pradesh (with focus on Eastern U.P.), Bihar, Jharkhand, West Bengal & Assam. Procurement in Chhattisgarh and Odisha is already robust. Attempt is to increase procurement of rice from these States and to reach out to all farmers in various paddy growing districts of these States.
FCI has opened 232 procurement centres in comparison to only 141 in previous season. Besides Government Agencies, FCI in consultation with States has engaged private parties to expand procurement operations in hitherto poorly covered clusters in Eastern U.P., Jharkhand and West Bengal. A total of 53,036 procurement centres have been opened in this season in these States by FCI, State Govt. Agencies and private parties.
As on 26.04.2016, 65.62 lakh MT of paddy in terms of rice has been procured in these States in this season (KMS 2015-16) compared to only 40.82 lakh MT in season KMS 2014-15 and 26.38 lakh MT in KMS 2013-14.
Reforms in Sugar Sector
Scheme for providing incentive on export of raw sugar has been extended for 2014-15 sugar season and incentive rate was increased from Rs. 3300 per MT to Rs. 4000 MT. Under the scheme, Rs. 383.87crores have been disbursed to the sugar industry to facilitate liquidation of cane dues arrears of farmers.
Extended financial assistance to the sugar mills through Soft Loan Scheme with interest subvention @ 10% per annum for one year. Under this scheme, Rs.4305 crore has been disbursed directly to cane farmers account on behalf of the sugar mills. This has benefited more than 32 lakh farmers associated with 313 sugar mills.
Remunerative prices of Ethanol for supply under EBP have been fixed in the range of Rs. 48.50-49.50 per litre, a substantial increase over previous years. Excise duties on ethanol for supply under EBP in the current season has also been waived off to further incentivize ethanol supplies to improve the liquidity position of sugar mills enabling them to clear cane dues of farmers. As a result, supply of ethanol under EBP has been increased to about 68 crore litres in 2014-15 season as against only 33 crore litres in 2013-14. Further, during current season, it is expected that supply of ethanol may cross 130 crore litres. Blending targets under Ethanol Blending Programme (EBP) has been scaled up from 5% to 10%.
Government, on 02-12-2015, has notified performance based production subsidy scheme providing subsidy @ Rs. 4.50 per quintal of cane crushed in 2015-16 sugar season to sugar mills to offset the cost of cane and facilitate timely payment of cane price dues of farmers for sugar season 2015-16. Funds shall be directly credited in to farmers’ accounts on behalf of sugar mills.
As a result of these interventions, the ex-mill sugar price which was hovering around Rs.23 per kg during last sugar season has increased to about Rs.33-34 per kg. Cane price arrears for sugar season 2014-15 have significantly been reduced from its peak level of Rs. 21000 crore in April, 2015 to Rs. 896 crore as on 27.04.2016.
In order to have better targeting of ‘Other Welfare Schemes’ for poor, a Committee of Ministers set up under the Chairmanship of Hon’ble Minister for Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution. The Committee not only decided continuation of foodgrain allocation for other welfare schemes but also decided nutritional support by providing milk and eggs etc. under the schemes.
Central Warehousing Corporation had achieved an all time high turnover of Rs. 1562 crore in 2014-15 and Rs. 1580 crore (Provisional) in 2015-16. CWC also paid a dividend of Rs. 20.21 crore in 2014-15 and an Interim Dividend of Rs. 10.10 crore in 2015-16 to the Government
CRWC has paid a dividend of Rs. 6.08 crore in the year 2014-15 and has now paid interim dividend of Rs. 4.06 crore in the year 2015-16.
During the financial year 2014-15 and 2015-16, CRWC has taken up various projects under CSR Activities in the sectors of education, health, protection of national heritage/art, Swachh Bharat Abhiyan etc. which have really impacted the lives of people in the society at large.
12 rooms of the Department which were in very bad condition have been modernized and modular furniture has been provided in these rooms thereby imparting them neat and attractive outlooks. Renovation of three toilets of this Department is being done through CPWD.
Pest control and rodent control measures are being undertaken at regular intervals.
Swachh Bharat logo has been printed on letters and other stationery items for spreading awareness about cleanliness.
Drawing-cum-painting competitions were also organized for the wards of employees of the Department and poetry & essay competitions on the subject cleanliness were organized for creating awareness amongst the employees of the Department. This Department organized a blood donation camp on 05.10.2015 in Krishi Bhawan with the help of Red Cross.
Food subsidy released
An amount of Rs.1,13,171 crore in 2014-15 and an amount of Rs.1,34,919 crore in 2015-16 has been released as Food Subsidy directly to DCP States and FCI.