Global Economy

Food Corporation of India's facelift on the anvil

NEW DELHI: The government is planning to revamp and restructure Food Corporation of India. This is on the top priority of food minister Ram Vilas Paswan.

“The government is likely to implement few of the Shanta Kumar recommendations for the face lifting of FCI. It will revamp FCI and make it trimmer, transparent and effective,” said a senior food ministry official.

The government, in 2014, had constituted a high level committee chaired by Shanta Kumar, who had given several recommendations as how to make the entire food grain management system more efficient by reorienting the role of FCI in MSP operations, procurement, storage and distribution of grains under Targeted Public Distribution System (TPDS).

The HLC had wide consultations with various stakeholders in its several meetings in different parts of the country. It also invited comments through advertisements in newspapers and electronic media. HLC would like to gratefully acknowledge that it has benefitted immensely from this consultative process, and many of its recommendations are based on very intensive discussions with stakeholders.

One of the major recommendations of the committee was that FCI should hand over all procurement operations of wheat, paddy and rice to states that have gained sufficient experience in this regard and have created reasonable infrastructure for procurement. These states are Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha and Punjab.

“FCI should accept only the surplus (after deducting the needs of the states under NFSA) from these state governments (not millers) to be moved to deficit states. FCI should move on to help those states where farmers suffer from distress sales at prices much below MSP, and which are dominated by small holdings, like Eastern Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, West Bengal, Assam etc,” he said.

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The committee had said that FCI should focus on eastern parts of the country like UP, Bihar West Bengal and Assam where second green revolution is expected.

“FCI needs to be pro-active, mobilizing state and other agencies to provide benefits of MSP and procurement to larger number of farmers, especially small and marginal ones,” the committee had recommended.

There were several other transforms related to staffing pattern recommended by the Shanta Kumar committee which government may look into while attempting the facelift of FCI.


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