Food Corporation of India (FCI),the government’s nodal foodgrain procurement agency,has sought an additional Rs 14,300 crore during this fiscal for rice procurement in the 2012-13 marketing season.
As per FCI,paddy procurement,that commenced this month,has reached around 5 lakh tonnes in the first week of October. The government has set a target of procuring 40 million tonnes (MT) of the staple in 2012-13 marketing season (October- September).
“FCI has asked for an additional sum of Rs 14,300 crore for the current fiscal as the agency expects to procure 24 MT of rice in the current kharif marketing season against its estimate of 17.5 MT,” a senior Food Ministry official said.
The agency explained that of the total 34.06 MT expected to be procured in the kharif marketing season,which lasts from October to March,around 10 MT of the staple would be from the Decentralised Procurement (DCP) states and the rest 24 MT would have to be procured by FCI,the official added.
A DCP state procures and distributes foodgrains itself and the foodgrain subsidy is released by the Government of India on a quarterly basis after distribution of foodgrains by the state government.
FCI in the 2012-13 budget estimate had projected 17.5 MT of rice to be procured in the kharif season. Now with the additional 6.56 MT of rice,the cost would come to Rs 14,300 crore as the estimated acquisition cost for the staple is about Rs 2,182 per quintal,the official said.
The acquisition costs includes the minimum support price (MSP),which is Rs 1,250 per quintal for common paddy and Rs 1,280 for grade A,as well as storage,milling and the cost of transporting the grain.
The Food Ministry’s estimated fund requirement for the procurement of foodgrains and other items is Rs 42,880 crore. With the new addition,it would go up to about Rs 57,200 crore,the official added.
In the last marketing year,the government had targeted to procure 35 MT of rice and has nearly reached that level.