Govt spending tens of lakhs annually on private godowns

Govt spending tens of lakhs annually on private godowns

In the absence of adequate number of its own godowns used to store ration supplied through the Public Distribution System (PDS), the state government spends Rs 30 lakh per month just for paying rent to private godowns.  

In a written reply to a question by Yelburga legislator Achar Halappa, Food & Civil Supplies Minister K Gopalaiah has stated that the government has rented 115 private godowns across the state.

Overall, there are 314 godowns in the state, including the private properties. Each month, the state government paid a rent of Rs 30.93 lakh to private entities, the minister said.  

Speaking to DH, the Yelburga legislator said there were several instances of misuse in places where the government did not have its own godowns. “One obvious issue is that the government needs to spend money on rent for these godowns. That apart, the moment the property is taken on rent, there will always be an influence of vested interests in it. When the property belongs to the government, it is always easier to monitor the infrastructure and to ensure that the ration is stored at an appropriate temperature,” he said, stressing the importance of the government in setting up its own godowns.  

Government data reveals that Bagalkot (10) and Raichur (12) have the highest number of private godowns, where each month, the government is spending Rs 2.06 lakh and Rs 1.2 lakh, respectively, on rent alone.  

The state government has also stated in its response that it is making efforts to set up its own godowns. To begin with, the government is looking at construction and renovation of 27 godowns across the state, according to the official response.

To another question, the minister said godowns set up by the Karnataka State Warehousing Corporation and those of the Agricultural Produce Market Committee (APMC) under Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana are rented “based on availability of space” for safe storage of the ration.