The states have not been lifting the entire volume of foodgrains allocated by the Food Corporation of India (FCI) under various social sector schemes — including targeted public distribution system (TPDS) and mid-day meal — for the past few years due to inadequate storage facilities with them.
According to food ministry data, in the last fiscal till January, 2015, only 75% of wheat and 65% of rice allocated to states have been lifted, resulting in delay in availability of subsidised grains to beneficiaries.
In 2012-13, only 89% of the rice and 76% of wheat allocated for implementation of various welfare schemes were lifted by the states. In 2013-14, 85% of rice and 65% of wheat earmarked for states by FCI could be taken possession by state government-owned agencies.
The states’ inability to create adequate foodgrain storage infrastructure has led to lower lifting of grains against allocation, thus impacting implementation of welfare programmes, food ministry sources told FE.
A food ministry official said while the Centre has again extended the deadline for the states to roll out the National Food Security Act by October, 2015, when the coverage of TPDS would increase to an estimated 84 crore people from 55 crore now, the capacity of states to handle more foodgrain is doubtful given their poor offtake record in the last few years.
“A number of states with substantial number of poor families are yet to create adequate long-term storage facilities which often led to delay in offtake,” the official said.
Bigger states, including Uttar Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, West Bengal and Odisha, have not taken delivery of entire quantity of foodgrain allocated under various welfare schemes.
The states, which are yet to roll out national food security legislation, at present get foodgrain for implementation of TPDS and other programmes on the basis of population estimates of Registrar General of India, 2000.