The government has provisionally allocated 58.80 million tonnes of foodgrains for the current financial year to the states / union territories under various schemes, including the targeted public distribution system (TPDS), National Food Security Act (NFSA), other welfare schemes, natural calamities, festivals, additional requirement of the states/UTs etc.
This includes 50 lakh tonnes of rice specially allocated on 7 July 2014 for controlling food inflation, minister of state for consumer affairs, food and public distribution, Raosaheb Patil Danve informed the Lok Sabha in a written reply.
In addition, the minister said, the government allocated 10 million tonnes of wheat on 25 July 2014 for tender sale to bulk consumers/private traders through FCI during the current financial year.
The central pool had a foodgrain stock of 59.30 million tonnes as of 16 July 2014, against the buffer norms of 31.9 million tonnes for the July-September quarter, he said.
Meanwhile, the government has formulated a public-private partnership scheme, called Private Entrepreneur Guarantee (PEG) scheme, to augment covered storage capacity for foodgrains. Under the scheme, Food Corporation of India (FCI), the government procurement agency, will guarantee 10 years assured hiring for such private storages.
In all, he said, a total storage capacity of 20.38 million tonnes has been approved for construction across 19 states under the scheme through private entrepreneurs, Central Warehousing Corporation and State Warehousing Corporations, out of which 20 lakh tonnes capacity is earmarked for construction of silos.
The country added total food grain storage capacity of 12.03 million tonnes so far, including 0.27 lakh tonnes added till 30 June 2014, the minister stated.
The centre has also offered grants to states in the North East and Jammu and Kashmir create additional storage capacity of 2.93 lakh tonnes in the 12th Plan. The government has so far allocated Rs44.13 crore to these states and 23,220 tonnes of storage capacity has already been created, the minister stated.
Besides, he said, FCI is adding own storage capacity under Plan scheme. FCI, he said, is also strengthening its present infrastructure and improving handling facilities in godowns, including use of conveyor belts and stacker. To achieve this prototype, 23 conveyor belts and stackers have been installed in all zones, he added.