Due to joint efforts of the Food Corporation of India (FCI) and State Government Agencies under the close monitoring by Government of India, there is huge increase in procurement of paddy in the current Kharif Marketing Season (KMS), which begun on 1st October, 2015. The total quantity of paddy procured in terms of rice till date is 208.10 lakh MT, which was only 157.41 lakh MT till this date during the previous KMS.
The major increase in procurement of paddy has taken place in Punjab, Haryana, Chhattisgarh, Andhra Pradesh, Odisha and Uttar Pradesh. In order to ensure that FCI has enough funds to pay to the farmers towards procurement of paddy and to the State Government Agencies towards the rice supplied, Government has provided an additional funding of Rs. 10,000 crore to them in the month of January, 2016. With this additional funding, FCI has sufficient funds to meet its requirements towards expenditure including cost of procurement operations for the peak period of paddy procurement in January and February, 2016.
In all, the Government has already released a food subsidy of Rs.87,000 crore to FCI till date during the current financial year and a Ways & Means Advance of Rs.20,000 crore during the current financial year, totalling to a funding of Rs.1,07,000 crore in this fiscal, which is an all time record.
Despite 2014 and 2015 having been monsoon deficit years, due to robust procurement arrangement made by the Food Ministry and FCI, there is more than adequate foodgrain stock available with the Government under Central Pool. As on 1st January, 2016, there is 237.88 lakh MT of issuable wheat stock under Central Pool. The FCI is also stepping up open market sale of wheat at reasonable rates to check inflation and also to provide supplies to the private flour mills and trade. Similarly, on 1st January, 2016 there is a stock of 126.89 lakh MT of rice under Central Pool, which is 50.79 lakh MT more than stocking norms. This excess quantity of rice will help in meeting any contingencies arsing due to monsoon deficit or natural calamities in near future.