The prices of subsidised wheat and rice, given at Rs 2 and Rs 3 per kg respectively to 81 crore people in the country, will not be reviewed till 2018, the Lok Sabha was informed today. Food and Consumer Affairs Minister Ramvilas Paswan said there was a provision for revision of the prices of foodgrains every three years in the National Food Security Act (NFSA) 2013. “However, we have decided to continue the present scheme till 2018,” he said during Question Hour. Under the scheme, rice is supplied at Rs 3 per kg, wheat at Rs 2 per kg and coarse grains at Rs 1 per kg. Paswan also said it was the responsibility of the state governments to ensure that no one remains in hunger and the Centre was doing its best to properly implement the scheme. The minister said in order to augment the storage capacity in the country, the government formulated Private Entrepreneurs Guarantee (PEG) Scheme in 2008-2009 for construction of storage capacity through private entrepreneurs, Central Warehousing Corporation (CWC) and state government agencies. Under the scheme, investment and construction is done by the private investor or state agencies. As return for investment, FCI guarantees hiring of the godown constructed by a private party for 10 years.
The guarantee period for CWC or state government agencies is nine years. The location and capacity for godowns are identified as per storage requirements by State Level Committees (SLC) and finally approved by the High Level Committee (HLC) headed by Chairman and Managing Director, FCI.
Under PEG scheme, investment for construction of godowns is done by private parties, CWC, SWCs and other state agencies by arranging their own funds and land. No funds are allocated by the government for construction of godowns, he said.
Paswan said following an initiative of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the employees of the FCI would now get pension and post retirement medical benefits.