The General Manager Food Corporation of India J&K, H.S. Dhaliwalhas Monday said that the Corporation has distributed around 4.95 Lakh Metric Ton food-grains in J&K region (UT of J&K and UT of Ladakh) during the first five phases of Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana (PMGKAY).
Speaking to media here at FSD Chatha, the GM listed a range of schemes being implemented by the Corporation
“Food Corporation of India, Food Storage Depot, Chatha (J&K) is functioning for implementation of various Central Governments’ schemes like PMGKAY, MDM, ICDS, NFSA, OMSS for the welfare of people” he said.
Elaborating further, he said FCI J&K region includes UT of J&K and UT of Ladakh, He further added that currently FCI was operating 32 depots (27in UT of J&K and 5 in UT of Ladakh) in the region with an aim to meet the requirement of common public in these UTs. FCI has storage capacity of 2.50 LMT approx in J&K region and presently having a stock of 1.34 LMT approx.
“The monthly requirement of stock in the J & K region is approximately 95, 000 MT including PMGKAY. During the first five phases of PMGKAY up to March 31, .2022, FCI has distributed approx. 4.95 LMT in J&K region, he informed further.
The GM said that the FCI procures wheat, rice and paddy at Minimum Support Price fixed by Government of India (GOI) from the farmers through Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT).
“Foodgrains procured under Uniform Specifications fixed by GOI are being stored in FCI godowns under proper preservation by quality control unit and make them available to the state government for PDS (Public Distribution). FCI ensures the food security to the nation by maintaining the satisfactory level of operational and buffer stock of food grains. Presently, FCI has a buffer stock of wheat 279.64 LMT, normal rice 330.24 LMT and Fortified rice 94.41 LMT under the central pool.
He said that as part of Hon’ble Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision of “Aatma Nirbhar Bharat” into a reality, the FCI has taken several initiatives with respect to self-sufficiency of food grains. Also in his 75th Independence speech, he announced complete replacement of normal rice by Fortified rice (FRK) for all schemes by 2024.
The Government’s commitment is to take care of the weakest people of the society and also enhance infrastructure facilities for food security operations across the country.
“During the pandemic (Covid-19), the FCI has distributed 324 LMT rice and 455 LMT wheat under PMGKAY (phase I to VI), beside this, FCI has also distributed 6.68 LMTFRK rice (Fortified rice Kernel containing folic acid, vitamin A and B12 and iron) under NFSA and other welfare schemes like MDM and WBNP during financial year 21-22 and 22-23” he added.
He informed that the main objective of distribution of FRK rice was to combat malnutrition (due to deficiency of iron, folic acid, vitamin A and B12) prevalent among school children below 5 years of age, pregnant women and lactating mothers. In order to prevent the recycling of raw rice, FCI also started age testing of rice by Mixed Indicator Method (MIM) during procurement.
Other initiatives taken by FCI include improved IT infrastructure, such as implementation of Depot Online System (DOS) making all depot transactions efficient and transparent, Financial Accounting Package (FAP) and Bill Tracking System (BTS) for easy and smooth payments to all stakeholders, online procurement portal to facilitate Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) to farmers. Also, all the depots of FCI are covered under CCTV surveillance with provision of live web streaming for general public.