Panel set up to restructure FCI

Written by fe Bureau | New Delhi | Updated: Aug 21 2014, 07:41am hrs
The food ministry on Wednesday set up a high level committee chaired by former Himachal Pradesh CM and former Union minister Shanta Kumar to suggest ways to unbundle the functions of Food Corporation of India (FCI) and improve grain storage and management. Sources told FE that the eight-member committee is expected to submit its report to the food ministry in three months. The other members of the panel include Ashok Gulati, former chairman, Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices; G Raghuram, professor, IIM (Ahmedabad); C Viswanath, chairman and MD, FCI; and the chief secretaries of Punjab and Chhattisgarh. The panel will examine the functional and financial structure of FCI and various models of restructuring and would suggest the 'best suited model' for improving its operational efficiency and financial management. The committee will define or give suggestions to reorient the role and functions of FCI in minimum support price operations, storage and distribution of foodgrain and food security systems of the country, an official statement said. The committee, consisting of experts from the fields of agriculture, transportation and logistics, would also suggest a way forward to strengthen and integrate the supply chain of foodgrain in the country. It would recommend a scientific model of foodgrain storage. The exercise is expected to reduce the food subsidy burden on the government.