1.95 lakh tonnes of grain down the drain since 2005: FCI

As much as 1,94,502 metric tonnes of grain worth crores of rupees was wasted in India due to various reasons between 2005 and March 2013, the Food Corporation of India (FCI), India's nodal procurement agency, has admitted.

The FCI gave this information in reply to a query by Thane-based activist Om Prakash Sharma under the Right to Information (RTI) Act. He had filed the inquiry last month about the grain wastage in India, which he got on Tuesday.

The reply provided details of the region-wise and commodity wise stock accrued as non-issuable (damaged) for each of the years separately for the 23 regions in the country.

The damaged grain stock, which stood at 95,075 MT in 2005-06, came down to 3,148 MT in 2012-13. The wastage was at 25,353 MT in 2006-07, 4,426 MT in 2007-08, and 20,114 in 2008-09, the report said.

It also said that of the damaged stock, around 84 per cent (16,3576 MT) was rice and 14 per cent wheat (26,543 MT).

Punjab with a total damage stock of 98,200 MT recorded 50 per cent of the total damages, while Maharashtra recorded a total of 20,067 MT of damaged stock, accounting for 10 per cent of the total loss, the report added.

Talking to PTI, Sharma expressed concern over the government's inability to curb wastage of food grain in the country. "Even as so many people die of hunger in the country, there is so much of wastage of food grain taking place. Those responsible for this loss should be punished," Sharma said.