With the ongoing paddy procurement season in its last days, the Food Corporation of India (FCI), considered to be one of biggest procurement agency across the country, has failed to achieve its stipulated target for the sixth consecutive year.
The FCI is mandated to procure 10% of the total procured paddy across the state for contribution to the central pool. According to available information, FCI has so far been able to procure around 4% of the total paddy procured across the state this season.
Carrying forward their dismal performance in Patiala district, FCI has procured only around 1.5% of total paddy procured across Patiala district.
Not only this, procurement figure has dipped this time as compared to last year. The central procurement agency this year procured around 17,475 metric tonne of paddy against 29,940 MT in 2012.
However, against the expected procurement of around 12.5 lakh MT, the district has recorded around 11.54 lakh MT of paddy till date.
Indeed, this is not for the first time that FCI has fallen short of its set target as it has procured 2,100 MT in 2008, 60,000 MT in 2009, 1,700 MT in 2010 and 7,852 MT in 2011.
“The FCI seems to have made it a habit of missing its quota for years as feedback from different districts revealed that the FCI has missed the targets by long margins this year,” said a senior official of the department of Punjab food, civil supplies and consumer affairs.
“We will soon take up this matter with FCI's top brass and seek necessary directions,” the official said while demanding anonymity.
FCI manager (procurement) Herdev Singh said their process of procuring foodgrains had been totally different than of the state procurement agencies as they only procured paddy from few purchasing centres.
“We usually procured paddy and adopted owned storage process rather than storing paddy in private mills to avoid losses and litigation of any type. Therefore, we only opted to procure limited paddy from the purchasing centres near their godowns,” he said.
However, other procurement agencies from Punjab have managed to cross their set targets. Pungrain has procured around 3.68 lakh MT, Punsup 3.75 lakh MT, Markfed 2.59 lakh MT, Punjab Agro 1.17 lakh MT and Warehouse 94,792 MT.
Meanwhile, private traders have procured around 21,250 MT of paddy so far.
Total procurement so far: 11.54 lakh MT
Procurement agency Paddy procured
Pungrain 3.68 lakh MT
Punsup 3.75 lakh MT
Markfed 2.59 lakh MT
Punjab Agro 1.17 lakh MT
Warehouse 94,792 MT
FCI 17,475 MT
FCI in the past
2010: 1,700 MT