The high-level committee set up to recommend restructuring of Food Corporation of India (FCI), is likely to submit its report to the government by December end.
The committee, headed by former union minister Shanta Kumar, now a Lok Sabha MP, currently reviewing various models of restructuring of FCI to improve its operational and final efficiency, has held series of meetings and consultations since its inception.
“Very soon we will be taking a final call on restructuring or unbundling of FCI. The final report is likely to be submitted to the government by December end,” Shanta told Hindustan Times on sidelines of a meeting of district vigilance committee held here.
Shanta said the studies done by the committee have brought to fore various anomalies in the functioning of the FCI.
“FCI is plagued with several functional and cost inefficiencies, which need to be removed for efficient management of foodgrains and saving costs,” said Shanta
“It is quite concerning that the union government spends around Rs 2 lakh crores on foodgrains and fertilizer subsidy, but the benefits reach only 40% of the total population,” he said, quoting a study done by the Planning Commission.
He added that the Planning Commission also found that benefit of the minimum support price (MSP) scheme for foodgrains reaches only 15% affluent farmers of the country. About 85% farmers are not getting any benefit of the MSP scheme due to which the country has witnessed a spate of suicides.
The MP also told that it costs the government about Rs 3.65 from procuring to deliver the ration worth Rs 1 to the beneficiaries.
“The distortion of prices under the subsidy scheme also results in corruption and leakage,” said Shanta.
“Now, we are exploring all the possibilities to revamp or unbundle the FCI,” said Shanta, adding that restructuring was much needed coverage area of FCI and has expanded after implementation of Food Security Act, which provides to make available subsidised foodgrain to about 86 crore population.
Shanta Congratulates Nadda
Kangra MP Shanta Kumar has congratulated BJP general secretary and Rajya Sabha MP from Himachal Jagat Prakash Nadda on being appointed the cabinet minister.
“Being a small state, Himachal matters a little on national level. However, three young leaders from the hill- state have made their mark national politics, which is matter of pride for all of us,” said Shanta.
He said Nadda, besides being appointed cabinet minister, was also in the top executive of the party, while MP Anurag Thakur was heading youth wing of the party and Nagesh Thakur was recently made chief of student wing.