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Eyes on Food Security Law, FCI's food grains movement up by 30%

NEW DELHI: The movement of food grainsby the Food Corporation of India (FCI) across the country has gone up by 30% in the last quarter as compared to the corresponding period last year, with the state-run corporation bracing to ensure adequate supply under the food security law. 

FCI undertook all-India movement of food grains on its inter-region account (excluding the movement within food grain-procuring states) to the tune of 12.64 million tonnes during April-July this year. The figure for the same period last year was pegged at 9.28 million tonnes. 

"We are storing enough food grains in our godowns spread across the country in view of the
food security law," said a senior official. 

The speedy evacuation of food grains from the FCI godowns in the procuring states like
Punjab, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Andhra Pradesh and Odisha is expected to create suitable storage space, making the procurement easier during the kharif season, beginning October 1. 

During July-August this year, FCI doubled its supply to the flood-hit Uttrakhand. Compared to the monthly supply of 20,000 tonnes of wheat earlier, the corporation made available 40,000 tonnes of wheat to the state. 

Similarly, FCI initiated measures to ensure one-and-a-half months of stocks under the 
Public Distribution System in the north-eastern states by increasing supplies to the region. 

FCI also increased the food grains movement to Tamil Nadu to 5.58 lakh tonnes in April this year as compared to 3.3 lakh tonnes during the corresponding period last year due to the drought situation prevailing in the state. In May, the corporation supplied 4.4 lakh tonnes of food grains to the southern state. 

The average monthly supply to Kerala has also gone up by 30-40 per cent this year. Compared to last year's monthly average of 1.25 lakh tonnes, FCI supplied, on an average, 1.50 lakh tonnes of food grains to Kerala every month this year. 

"In view of the food security law, we are anticipating a 5-10 % increase in supply of stocks under the PDS. But to be on the safer side, we are already transporting stocks to our godowns in the states," the official said. 

"The Railways are giving us complete cooperation in supplying food grains to the states," he pointed out. "The transport by railways is almost 100 per cent of FCI's demand." 

A coordination committee, comprising senior officials of FCI, Railways and the Ministry of Food, holds weekly meetings to sort out movement-related issues across the country, the official said. "The aim is to optimise movement of food grains throughout the country," he added.