Buffer stock of foodgrains at 752 lakh tonnes: Govt

Buffer stock of foodgrains at 752 lakh tonnes: Govt

Labourers try to dry the wheat grain after overnight rains, in Amritsar on Monday, May 4, 2020. (PTI Photo)

The Centre has about 752 lakh tonnes of foodgrains in buffer stock as on May 27, which it believes is more than sufficient to meet regular demand under the food law and various other welfare schemes as well as for free distribution during the COVID crisis. 

Food Minister Ram Vilas Paswan on Thursday chaired a review meeting with the Food Corporation of India's zonal executive directors and regional general managers on the distribution and procurement of foodgrains. The review meeting was held through video conference.

Paswan lauded the role of the FCI during the lockdown and said that foodgrains movement has been at an all-time high, according to an official statement. 

He said FCI workforce has emerged as food warriors at the time of global pandemic crisis.

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While reviewing the allocation of foodgrains under Atma Nirbhar Bharat Package for migrants/stranded migrants, Paswan said the Centre has  allocated 8 lakh tonnes foodgrains (2.44 lakh tonnes wheat and 5.56 lakh tonnes rice) to 37 states/union territories for the months of May and June.   

According to FCI, 2.06 lakh tonnes of foodgrains have been lifted by the states/UTs till May 27. 

Under this package, 5 kg of foodgrains will be distributed free of cost to each migrant per month during May-June. 

In the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana (PMGKAY), the Centre has made allocation of 120.04 lakh tonnes of foodgrains (15.65 lakh tonnes wheat and 104.4 lakh tonnes rice) to 37 states/UTs for the months of April, May and June 2020. 

Till May 27, 95.80 lakh tonnes of foodgrains (15.6 lakh tonnes of wheat and 83.38 lakh tonnes of rice) have been lifted by the states/UTs.

Under the PMGKAY, 5 kg foodgrains is being distributed free of cost per person per month during April-June period. 

As per the FCI, the West Bengal government has requested 11,800 tonnes rice stock under the Open Market Sale Scheme OMSS (D) sale without e-auction at Rs 2,250 per quintal, but no requirement of foodgrains has been intimated by the Odisha government till date.

Paswan asked the FCI to coordinate with West Bengal and Odisha governments and appraise the latest status of food grains in the cyclone hit states.

According to the FCI as on May 27, total 351 lakh tonnes of wheat (RMS20-21) has been procured during the rabi (winter-sown) marketing season 2020-21. About 60.40 lakh tonnes rice has been procured. 

The FCI informed about the current stock position of foodgrains as on May 27, 2020. 

Officials said 479.40 lakh tonnes of wheat and 272.29 lakh tonnes of rice are available in the central pool, taking the total buffer stocks to 751.69 lakh tonnes.

"Expressing satisfaction at the stock position to meet the country's present and future needs of foodgrains, Paswan pledged the government's all-out support to FCI officers and workers who have been toiling hard during this period of crisis," the statement said.

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