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Trains Move from Punjab, Haryana & AP to 'Grain Deficit' States to Ensure Food Security

News18.com

Last Updated: April 02, 2020, 12:28 IST

Indian Railways. (Reuters)

Indian Railways. (Reuters)

FCI plans to move close to five million tonnes of foodgrains in April, using an average 50 rakes a day, its chairman DV Prasad said.

New Delhi: The Food Corporation of India (FCI) moved more than 85 rakes in the last two days to meet the requirement of “deficit states” such as Bihar, UP and West Bengal which have to supply twice the amount of foodgrains through the public distribution system to ensure that 80 crore poor do not go hungry during the lockdown.

These rakes leave from surplus states such as Punjab, Haryana, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. Given the massive production and stocks in Punjab, nearly 60 per cent of the grains are moving from the state.

According to a report by Times of India, since March 24, when the government announced additional 5kg of grains free of cost over and above the 5kg entitlement, FCI has moved close to a million tonnes in over 350 rakes — around 40 rakes a day.

Some 250 rakes have been unloaded in states, which have to make the first round of supplies by April 15.

FCI plans to move close to five million tonnes of foodgrains in April, using an average 50 rakes a day, its chairman DV Prasad told TOI.

“FCI has sufficient stocks of wheat and rice to meet the requirement of all states, including the additional allocation that the government has announced,” he said.

While most states had stocks for four to six months, if the regular 5kg was to be supplied through PDS, it’s the additional requirement that has led to the rush.

Besides, several states are looking to give the option to beneficiaries to draw the entire quota of 30kg for three months in April itself. The list includes Punjab, Odisha and MP, even as large consumers such as UP, Bihar, West Bengal and Maharashtra have opted to stick to the monthly quota of 10kg (including the additional 5 kg).

Over the next couple of weeks, the focus will be back on procurement, which is expected to start in a staggered manner in the middle of April.
first published:April 02, 2020, 12:28 IST
last updated:April 02, 2020, 12:28 IST