State-owned Food Corporation of India (FCI) has 44 million tonnes of foodgrains in its godowns, and the buffer stock is sufficient to meet the requirement under the food law, free ration scheme PMGKAY and other welfare schemes, the government said on Friday.
As of April 1, 2023, the food ministry said, about 11.3 million tonnes of wheat and 23.6 million tonnes of rice will be available in the central pool after meeting all the requirements. The stocks will be higher than the buffer norm of 7.5 million tonnes of wheat and 13.6 million tonnes of rice.
Earlier this week, the Cabinet approved the extension of Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana (PMGKAY) by three months till December, involving an expenditure of Rs 44,762 crore.
“Food Corporation of India (FCI) has sufficient stock of foodgrains to meet the requirement of NFSA (National Food Security Act), other schemes and additional requirements of PMGKAY,” the ministry said in a statement.
As of date, the FCI has about 23.2 million tonnes of wheat and 20.9 million tonnes of rice in the Central pool.
“Even after meeting requirement of stock under NFSA, other welfare schemes and PMGKAY phase VII, as on 1st of April 2023, FCI will be having stock comfortably more than the buffer norms,” the statement said.
FCI is fully geared to meet the additional requirement for PMGKAY and movement of stock will be expedited from surplus to deficit regions to supply food grain in all areas of the country, the ministry said.
Under the PMGKAY phase VII (October-December 2022) a total quantity of 11.96 million tonnes of foodgrains (2.10 million tonnes wheat and 9.86 million tonnes rice) is to be distributed free of cost among 79.75 crore beneficiaries covered under the NFSA.
In a separate statement, the food ministry said that a quantity of 51.8 million tonnes of rice has been estimated for procurement during the forthcoming Kharif marketing season (KMS) 2022-23 against 50.98 million tonnes actually procured during the KMS 2021-22 (Kharif Crop).
The Kharif marketing season runs from October-September.
In order to supplement the nutritional requirements of the public at large, the Centre has decided to procure rice in the form of fortified rice this year.
“Further, a quantity of 13.71 lakh tonnes of coarse grains (considered as ‘Nutri-Cereals’) has also been proposed for procurement by the states during the forthcoming KMS 2022-23 as against actual procurement of 6.30 lakh tonnes during KMS 2021-22,” the statement said.