GoI says no to FCI restructuring, supports NFSA’s recommendation
The Dollar Business Bureau The Union Minister of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution, Ram Vilas Paswan, on Thursday said that the Ministry is completely against the restructuring of Food Corporation of India (FCI), as recommended by the High Level Committee’s recommendation. In this regard, the Union Minister said, “The Government has decided not to accept the recommendation of High Level Committee on restructuring of FCI regarding cut in the coverage of the National Food Security Act (NFSA),” adding that the Ministry’s views over the recommendations has been sent to the Prime Minister’s Office. Stating that the beneficiary coverage at the level of 67% as provided by the NFSA would continue, the Minister said that enough steps have already been taken for ensuring the better management of food grains. The Minister further informed that there are no old stocks piling up in FCI go-downs, as a result of timely allocations of food grains and efficient open market sale policy. After this month, no stock more than one year old will be in FCI go-downs, the Minister added. The Minister further informed that FCI has also been directed to ensure that movement of food grains from Cover and plinth (CAP) storage should be made within six months to avoid further damage. The Minister also said that the budget allocated for the ongoing schemes of Ministry, will certainly help in modernisation of Public Distribution System and would add to Consumer Protection Mechanism. While expressing views on the budget allocation for FY2015-16 in comparision with the Revised Budget Estimates for FY 2014-15, the Minister said, the end-end computerization Scheme of the Department will get major boost as the budget allocation in the FY 2015-16 is Rs 80 crore, while according to Revised Budget Estimates for FY 2014-15 it was Rs 35 crores. The same was the case with allocation for Warehousing Development and Regulatory Authority for FY2015-16, which is Rs 30 crore, a significant increase from Rs 13.81 crore of the Revised Estimates for 2014-15, he informed. The Minister also informed about the increased allocations for other areas of the Ministry like Strengthening of quality control mechanism, Sugar Development Fund, Consumer Protection Activities, among others. In this regard, the Minister exuded confidence that the increased budgetary allocations in the major areas of the Department will definitely strengthen the Ministry’s capabilities.
This article was published on March 05, 2015.