At a time when the world is living with great uncertainty, it all boils down to the basics. Of course, there will be relaxation, and the lockdown will be completely taken off sooner or later. But wherever the infections spike up, the administration is left with no other option but to isolate and place restrictions on such places. In such a scenario, ensuring the basics, which is food, becomes all the more important in the anticipation of any eventuality.
This is where the Food Corporation of India (FCI) is doing all the right things. People like Rahul Gandhi may throw around wild allegations to gain political mileage, such as his false allegation that the food is not reaching the needy, but the administration is evidently effective both on the procurement side and the distribution of the procured grains to the needy.
Procurement of Food Grains in Full Swing
Against the target of 400 Lakh Metric Tonnes (LMT) of wheat, procurement for central pool has touched 216 LMT upto May 5, 2020. It is particularly heartening since procurement in major wheat procuring states like Punjab, Haryana and Madhya Pradesh had started only after April 15. Similarly, paddy procurement is also going on smoothly with 44.9 LMT paddy procured so far by the government agencies.
Haryana has procured 47.65 LMT of Wheat in RMS 2020-21 upto 5.5.2020, out of which, 4.03 LMT of wheat has been procured by FCI. FCI ensures smooth procurement operations in mandis and timely payment to the farmers for their produce. pic.twitter.com/7HFJlPxoq6
— FCI HARYANA (@FCIHARYANA) May 6, 2020
Maximum procurement has happened in Telangana where there has been a quantum jump in the production due to commissioning of large irrigation projects. Out of the total paddy procurement of about 45 LMT, contribution of Telangana alone is 30 LMT.
Reaching the Needy
The procurement amidst all the logistics challenges of the lockdown is crucial, since the Central government is committed to give 5 Kg food grain free of cost for 3 months to about 80 crore beneficiaries under Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana.
The distribution from the stock under PMGKY has crossed 70 LMT, which is about 58% of the total allocation for 3 months. Every state has completed lifting of stocks against April 2020 quota and 5 Union Territories have completed lifting of entire 3 month’s quota.