The Food Corporation of India (FCI) is set to call bids from the 21 shortlisted private players for creating storage silos with combined capacity of one lakh tonne.
Sources told FE that final bids for building three silos at white-field, Bangalore (25,000 tonne), Katihar, Bihar (50,000 tonne) and Kotkapura, Punjab (25,000 tonne) would be invited in a couple of weeks. The private players shortlisted for building silos include Adani Agri Logistics, LT Overseas and OM Metals.
Viability gap funding (VGF) for the creation of silos would be taken up by the finance ministry soon, the sources said. The proposed silos will cost roughly R80 crore.
Under the plan, the corporation would provide guarantee of rentals for 30 years for silo operation for the private sector to recover capital investment and maintenance charges. Besides there is a provision for 20% VGF from the government as per infrastructure projects norms.
“After getting nod for the VGF from the finance ministry, we will call for bids,” an official said.
Under the Design-Build-Finance-Operate-Transfer (DBFOT) norms, private developer is responsible for development of the project while FCI and the state government will provide land for building the silos.
“Silos take much lesser area than the conventional storage facilities,” the official said, adding that benefits expected from creation of silos through private sector participation include timely delivery, optimum capital cost and efficient operations of project with minimal risk and involvement of implementing agency.
FCI had recently conducted feasibility studies for creation of silos across 11 locations — Changsari (Assam), Pune (Maharashtra), White-field & Bellary (Karnataka), Narela (Delhi), Kila Raipur, Kotkapura, Sahnewal & Patiala (Punjab), Buxar & Katihar (Bihar). Out of these locations eight locations were shortlisted for final bidding while two sites — Kila Raipur (Punjab) and Pune (Maharashtra) were given to state government agencies.
The high-level committee chaired by former food minister Shanta Kumar earlier this year had recommended that FCI should outsource its stocking operations to various agencies such as Central Warehousing Corporation, State Warehousing Corporation and private companies under the Private Entrepreneur Guarantee scheme. State governments were also urged to build silos with help from private firms. The committee report had noted that creation of silos should be done on competitive-bidding basis, inviting various stakeholders and creating competition to bring down costs of storage.
Last year, FCI had scrapped its attempt to build 2 mt capacity silos at 36 locations because of lack of participation from private sector.