Government may have to seek out methods to take care of rising surplus rice inventory

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By Dainik Khabre

Government may have to seek out methods to take care of rising surplus rice inventory

NEW DELHI: The authorities is more likely to face the ‘downside of lots’ of rice inventory as soon as once more, barely 5 months after it stopped promoting the meals staple from its buffer inventory to state governments, citing that the transfer was geared toward placing a verify on costs.
With sturdy paddy procurement through the present Kharif advertising season (KMS) and little or no sale of rice from FCI inventory within the open market, the company is more likely to be saddled with greater than twice the buffer requirement by the top of present procurement season, as per estimates.
To deal with rising inventory, and that too of fortified rice, the federal government might want to take measures to dump the grain, officers stated. The elections subsequent 12 months could give the federal government a chance to allocate extra foodgrain to the poor, they added.
TOI has learnt that the Centre’s choice in June to scrap the coverage of permitting states to purchase rice from FCI beneath ‘open market sale scheme’ (OMSS) for their very own programmes has impacted the offloading of extra rice. Moreover, placing on maintain the sale of rice to grain-based ethanol crops has additionally contributed to this. Since the e-auction of rice began in July, FCI has offered barely one lakh tonnes of rice within the open market, making the goal to promote 25 lakh tonnes to bulk consumers by subsequent March nearly unattainable.
Government information present that up to now FCI and state authorities businesses have bought about 170 lakh tonnes of rice within the present procurement season that commenced final month. Officials stated they’re assured of the procurement crossing 500 lakh tonnes as the acquisition in some states resembling Odisha and Jharkhand has not but began. Currently, FCI has 194 lakh tonnes of rice, towards the buffer requirement of 76 lakh tonnes for January 1. This inventory excludes 230 tonnes of rice which is but to be acquired from the millers. Moreover, through the subsequent Rabi advertising season (winter crop) the federal government expects the rice procurement to be round 50-60 lakh tonnes.
Officials stated even the opening inventory of rice with FCI as on October 1 was 221 lakh tonnes and this was greater than double the required buffer inventory. They added that the great tempo of procurement within the present season will push the inventory additional.
As per authorities estimates, the Centre wants round 400 lakh tonnes of rice yearly to satisfy the free ration scheme, Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana (PMFBY) beneath which practically 81 crore folks get 5 kg foodgrain each month.
“Some decision has to be taken soon to reduce the stock of rice and particularly fortified rice,” an official stated, including that every one up to date inventory is shared with all involved within the authorities.

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