In the current Kharif Marketing Season (KMS), began in October 1, 2015, 208.10 lakh MT rice have been procured, a rise from 157.41 lakh MT till this date during the previous year. This procurement was done by the Food Corporation of India and State agencies under the monitoring of Government of India.
The major increase in procurement of paddy (rice) 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 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 107,000 crore in this fiscal, which is an all time record.
Despite 2014 and 2015 having been monsoon deficit years, due to procurement arrangement made by the government and FCI, there is more than adequate foodgrain stock available with the Government under Central Pool. As on January 1, 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 January 1, 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 arising due to monsoon deficit or natural calamities in near future.