GUWAHATI, May 14 - With the nationwide lockdown having completed 50 days, state-owned Food Corporation of India (FCI) has ramped up its activities in the north-eastern region as part of efforts to ensure supply of basic essentials to citizens in this part of the country.
FCI has been able to induct a whopping 7.7 lakh metric tonnes (MT) of foodgrains across its facilities in the NE region so far during the lockdown.
�We have handled a total of 273 railway rakes during the lockdown period till now, which is equal to 5.5 rakes per day with a quantum of around 15,800 MT,� said an official.
The official added that a total quantity of 3.13 lakh MT of foodgrains has been issued during the lockdown across the North East under regular allocation for the National Food Security Act (NFSA). In addition, 3.43 lakh MT of stocks have been issued to the north-eastern states under the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Ann Yojana (PMGKAY).
�Adequate stocks have been issued to every state government in the North East to provide sufficient foodgrains to all beneficiaries. Put together, the total foodgrain stocks issued to cater to the needs of people under various schemes during the lockdown so far is 7.3 lakh MT at an average of 15,000 MT per day. This includes issuance under the NFSA, the PMGKAY, the Mid-Day Meal Scheme and other schemes,� the official said.
FCI officials said that the respective state governments have been given the choice to lift foodgrains at the rate of Rs 21 per kg for wheat and Rs 22 per kg for rice to meet any additional demands to cater to requirements of persons not covered under the NFSA. Over 70,300 MT of rice has been offloaded in the market through this scheme since imposition of the lockdown.
�In addition, states have been authorised to requisition wheat for flour mills directly from FCI at open market sale rates. This has been done to keep the open market prices under check and to ensure adequate availability of wheat and the system is being operated through the respective district magistrates,� an official said.
He added that various NGOs and welfare organisations, catering to the needy people, have started utilising the Centre�s scheme to provide wheat at Rs 21 per kg and rice at Rs 22 per kg to such organisations from any depot of FCI located anywhere without any upper limit on quantity.