The lower stock is going to ease storage crunch faced by Food Corporation of India (FCI) and state government-owned agencies. However as the rice procurement drive for 2014-15 is expected to pick pace in two months, the grain stock with the government is expected to see a sharp rise.
As per data released by FCI, it has 17.3 million tonne (mt) of rice and 32.2 mt of wheat stock at the start of the month. Besides, about 3.1 mt of rice is yet to be received from millers.
The current stock is still more than the strategic reserve and buffer stocks norms. As per the norm, FCI should have wheat and rice stock of 21.2 mt on October 1.
A food ministry official told FE that although rice stock has been comfortable, the huge wheat stock is a matter of worry as procurement for the new marketing year (2015-16) is scheduled to begin from April 1, 2015.
The official said that through Open Market Sell Scheme, FCI is aiming at reducing its excess wheat stock by March, 2015. The government has already allocated 10 mt of rice under extra allocation to states under the Public Distribution System (PDS).
At the start of June, FCI had a grain stock of 62.2 mt and 11.3 mt of rice was yet to be received from the millers. At the start of June, the grain stock with FCI was reported at the highest. Around 3-4 mt of rice and wheat are distributed monthly to states under the TPDS.