The government on Tuesday said that the Food Corporation of India, the nodal agency for procurement and distribution of foodgrains, has sufficient stocks in its godowns, even after meeting the requirement of additional wheat and rice provided free of cost during the lockdown period.
Food Minister Ram Vilas Paswan has given detailed information about the various steps taken by the government and the total stocks of food grains and pulses available with the government and sent to the states till now, an official statement said.
"FCI currently has 276.61 lakh tonnes rice and 353.49 lakh tonnes wheat. Hence a total of 630.10 lakh tonnes food grain stock is available," it said.
As against this, about 60 lakh tonnes of food grains is required for a month under the NFSA (National Food Security Act) and other welfare schemes.
Paswan said FCI stocks are comfortable even after fulfilling extra commitments during the lockdown.
Under the 'Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Ann Yojana', the Centre is providing 5 kg of free food grains per month to 80 crore ration card holders. This free of cost wheat and rice will be provided for three months. Besides, 1 kg of pulses will also be supplied per family.
This is over and above the normal quota of 5 kg of food grains provided per month per person to about 80 crore people under the food law.
The minister informed that since the lockdown, about 69.52 lakh tonnes of food grains have been transported through 2,483 rail rakes.
Apart from rail route, transportation was also done through roads and waterways. A total of 137.62 lakh tonnes has been transported.
During the lockdown, NGOs and social institutions running relief camps can purchase wheat and rice directly from FCI Depots at Open Market Sales Scheme (OMSS) rate.
The state governments can also purchase food grains directly from FCI. Under the OMSS, the rate of rice is fixed at Rs 22 per kg and wheat at Rs 21 per kg.
Under the 'Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Ann Yojana', for the next 3 months a total of 104.4 lakh tonnes rice and 15.6 lakh tonnes of wheat is required of which 59.50 lakh tonnes rice and 8.14 lakh tonnes wheat have been lifted by various states and UTs.
The Government of India is bearing 100 per cent financial burden of approximately Rs 46,000 crore under the scheme, the statement said.
For pulses, the total requirement for the next three months is 5.82 lakh tonnes.
So far, 2,20,727 tonnes of pulses have been dispatched, while 1,47,165 tonnes of pulses have reached the states/UTs and 47,490 tonnes have been delivered, it said.