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Frequently Asked Questions

Global Hunger Index(GHI)

What is Global Hunger Index & Position of India in the Index?

The Global Hunger Index(GHI) is an Index which ranks countries on a 100-point scale in which zero is the best score (no hunger) and 100 the worst. The GHI report is brought out annually by the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI). As per the latest IFPRI’s GHI report brought out in October, 2014 India ranked 55 out of 120 countries with a score of 17.8 while India ranked 63 out of 120 countries with a score of 21.3 as per 2013 GHI report.

How GHI is calculated?

GHI is calculated combining three equally weighted indicators i.e.

  • Undernourishment: the proportion of undernourished people as a percentage of the population (reflecting the share of the population with insufficient caloric intake);
  • Child underweight: the proportion of children younger than age five who are underweight (that is, have low weight for their age, reflecting wasting, stunted growth, or both), which is one indicator of child under nutrition
  • Child mortality: the mortality rate of children younger than age five (partially reflecting the fatal synergy of inadequate caloric intake and unhealthy environments).

What is Government’s view on GHI ?

The GHI is only indicative of undernourishment and not hunger per se and that also based largely on data of children under the age of five. The Index does not reflect the number of hungry or lack of availability of food or access to food to the people in the society. So it is not a proper index for reflecting the situation of hunger level in the country and cannot even be used to compare the same with the rest of the countries.

What is the features of GHI?

The 2014 GHI report mentions that GHI is based on data of different years for its three components indicators. While data for proportion of under-nourished is as per the years 2011–2013 (FAO 2014), data on child mortality are for 2012 and data on child underweight are for the latest year for which data are available in the period 2009–2013. The report however, indicates that India’s latest GHI score is based partly on outdated data: although it includes relatively recent child mortality from 2012 and any recent progress in the fight against child under nutrition has not be taken into account by the 2014 GHI.

Furthermore, the findings in the study are neither test checked nor validated by any large scale primary field surveys in the country. Shortcomings or limitations of the GHI has however, been communicated to the IFPRI in a meeting held on 19th October, 2011 where they made a presentation on the report to all concerned departments presided over by the Department of Agriculture & Cooperation at Krishi Bhavan. However, looking at the data set available in the report, percentage of population in 3 indicators has consistently coming down from 1990 to 2014.

What are the steps taken by Government to improve situation of Hunger?

As regards steps taken to ensure food security in the country, the Government of India has accorded high priority to the issue of hunger and malnutrition in the country and is implementing several schemes/programs of different Ministries/Departments through State Governments/UT Administrations to improve food security situation in the country. The Targeted Public Distribution System (TPDS) has been one of the major initiatives of Government of India in its efforts to provide food security to millions of poor in the country. Procurement of food grains through the Minimum Support Price operations in the Central Pool by the Government for meeting the requirements of the Public Distribution System (PDS) also ensures payment of assured remunerative prices to the farmers thereby incentivizing enhanced production and productivity. Thus, the PDS assures both remunerative prices to the farmers and availability of food grains to the vulnerable population at affordable prices.

To further strengthen these efforts, Government has enacted the National Food Security Act, 2013 with the objective to provide for food and nutritional security in human life cycle approach, by ensuring access to adequate quantity of quality food at affordable prices to people to live a life with dignity. The Act has provides for coverage of up to 75% of the rural and 50% of the urban population to receive highly subsidized food grains under TPDS. Under this Act, two-thirds of the total population of the country or approximately 81 crore persons are estimated to receive benefits under TPDS. The Act also contains provisions for nutritional support to Pregnant Women and Lactating Mothers or children below 14 years of age.

SAARC Food Bank

What is SAARC Food Bank and India’s contribution to it?

In pursuance to 14th SAARC Summit held in New Delhi during 3rd -4th April, 2007, an agreement among SAARC member countries on Establishing the SAARC Food Bank has been ratified by the President of India on 17th April, 2007 with the following objectives:-

  • To act as a regional food security reserve for the SAARC Member Countries during normal time food shortages and emergencies; and
  • To provide regional support to national food security efforts; foster inter-country partnerships and regional integration, and solve regional food shortages through collective action.

As per Agreement, India’s assessed share of the food grains for the reserve of the SAARC Food Bank initially was 1,53,200 MTs out of the total reserve of 2,43,000 MTs which has since been revised to make it doubled and accordingly India’s assessed share of food grains now is 3,06,400 MTs out of total share of 4,86,000 MTs.

How India’s share of food grains are reserved?

India’s assessed share of food grains has been kept as reserve in different strategic locations in the country in the designated Food Corporation of India (FCI) Godowns to facilitate movement of food grains in case of necessity.

Whether the Government proposes to reconsider its commitment to the said Food Bank in view of the drought and shortage of food grains in the country?

Because Bank has been set up for such eventualities only, no reconsideration of its commitment is proposed.

What are the salient features of SAARC Food Bank ?

The salient features of the agreement on the SAARC Food Bank are given below:

  • The Food Bank shall have a reserve of food grains consisting of either wheat or rice, or a combination of both. The reserve shall be the property of the country maintaining it and shall be in addition to the national reserve maintained by it.
  • The assessed share of food grains for the Reserve of each member state is annexed. Out of a total reserve of 2,43,000 MTs, India’s assessed shares of food grains for the Reserve of SAARC Food Bank is 1,53,200 MTs. In pursuant to decisions taken in the Fourth SAARC Food Bank Board meeting held in Dhaka, Bangladesh during 27th -28th October, 2010, the assessed shares of food grains in the SAARC Food Bank has since been revised to double of the aforesaid quantity and accordingly India’s assessed share has been raised to 3,06,400 MTs out of total share of 4,86,000 MTs.
  • Considering the large size of the country and operational feasibility, the stock of food grains for the Bank would be kept in different strategic locations in the country in the designated Food Corporation of India (FCI) Godowns to facilitate movement of food grains in case of necessity.
  • The food grains reserves of India in the SAARC Food Bank are from the stock of food grains procured under Central Pool.
  • The Member Country in need may directly request another Member Country in case of a food emergency or shortage for release of food grains. Each country shall be entitled to withdraw food grains from its own reserves to meet emergencies and shortages.
  • A food emergency shall mean a state or condition in which a Member Country, having suffered a severe and unexpected natural or man-made calamity, is unable to cope with such a state or condition by using its national reserve.
  • A food shortage shall mean a state or condition in which a Member Country has suffered a production shortfall and/or storage shortfall, and finds it difficult to cope with such a state or condition by using its national reserve.
  • Each SAARC Country would be a member of the Board which would administer the functioning of the SAARC Food Bank.
  • Specifications of food grains have been so finalized that every country of the region can contribute to the SAARC Food Bank from its national reserves.
  • The prices and terms of payment for food grains will be mutually decided by countries giving and taking the food grains. Humanitarian aspects would be factored into the price only in case of emergencies.

When did the SAARC Food Bank Operationalised?

The Sixth meeting of SAARC Food Bank Board recommended that 7 January, 2013 may be deemed as the date of entry into force of the SAARC Food Bank Agreement. None of the member countries have so far drawn any food grains from SAARC Food Bank.

How many meetings are so far held by SAARC Food Bank Board?

Since signing of the Agreement, the Food Bank Board has held Seven meetings including a special(5th ) session. While Joint Secretary(IC) in the Department of Food & P.D. has been designated as Member, SAARC Food Bank Board from India, Joint Secretary in the SAARC Division of the Ministry of External Affairs has been designated as Nodal point for the matter of SAARC Food Bank.

India hosted the 7th SAARC Food Bank Board (SFB) on 10-11, November, 2014 in New Delhi, India. All SAARC Member States except Afghanistan have attended the meeting. Besides, officers from SAARC Secretariat, Kathmandu and SAARC Agriculture Centre, Dhaka also attended the meeting. The meeting commenced with the handing over of the Chairmanship from representative of SAARC Food Bank Board from Bhutan to Member of SAARC Food Bank Board, India Shri Ajai Saxena, Joint Secretary, Department of Food & P.D.

What are the shares of each SAARC Member countries in SAARC Food Bank?

Since signing of the Agreement, the Food Bank Board has held Seven meetings including a special(5th ) session. While Joint Secretary(IC) in the Department of Food & P.D. has been designated as Member, SAARC Food Bank Board from India, Joint Secretary in the SAARC Division of the Ministry of External Affairs has been designated as Nodal point for the matter of SAARC Food Bank.

In the Sixth SAARC Food Bank Board meeting held at Thimphu, Bhutan in November, 2013, it was proposed that the existing laboratory facilities available in India to be designated as SAARC food grain Testing Laboratory to start with. The Board considered and agreed the proposal to designate the Central Grain Analysis Laboratory (CGAL), New Delhi as the regional reference laboratory for SAARC Food Bank. Besides, Board also agreed to the proposal of India for providing training in food grain storage management at the Indian Grain Storage Management and Research Institute(IGMRI), Hapur. The first batch of Training of SAARC officials in food grains storage at IGMRI, Hapur has since been held from 17-26, November, 2014. Nomination have been received for participating in the training program from 5 member countries viz. Bangladesh, Bhutan, Maldives, Nepal and Sri Lanka.

What is SAARC Food grain Testing Laboratory & where is it?

Since signing of the Agreement, the Food Bank Board has held Seven meetings including a special(5th ) session. While Joint Secretary(IC) in the Department of Food & P.D. has been designated as Member, SAARC Food Bank Board from India, Joint Secretary in the SAARC Division of the Ministry of External Affairs has been designated as Nodal point for the matter of SAARC Food Bank.

In the Sixth SAARC Food Bank Board meeting held at Thimphu, Bhutan in November, 2013, it was proposed that the existing laboratory facilities available in India to be designated as SAARC Food grain Testing Laboratory to start with. The Board considered and agreed the proposal to designate the Central Grain Analysis Laboratory (CGAL), New Delhi as the regional reference laboratory for SAARC Food Bank. Besides, Board also agreed to the proposal of India for providing training in food grain storage management at the Indian Grain Storage Management and Research Institute(IGMRI), Hapur. The first batch of Training of SAARC officials in food grains storage at IGMRI, Hapur has since been held from 17-26, November, 2014. Nomination have been received for participating in the training program from 5 member countries viz. Bangladesh, Bhutan, Maldives, Nepal and Sri Lanka.

Presently proportionate food grain reserve to be maintained in the Member States stands as follows:

Country Assessed Reserve -
- As per the decision of the 1st Meeting in Colombo in 2008 As per the decision of the 3rd Meeting in Kabul, 2009
Afghanistan 1420 2840
Bangladesh 40000 80000
Bhutan 180 360
India 1,53,200 3,06,400
Maldives 200 400
Nepal 4000 8000
Pakistán 40000 80000
Sri Lanka 4000 8000
Total 2,43,000 4,86,000

Procurement of food grains

What is the existing Policy of food grains Procurement?

The Central Government extends price support to paddy, coarse grains and wheat through the Food Corporation of India and the State Agencies. All the food grains conforming to the prescribed specifications i.e. Fair Average Quality norms offered for sale at specified centers are bought by the public procurement agencies. The producers have the option to sell their produce to FCI/State Agencies at support prices or in the open market as is advantageous to them. The procurement policy is open ended and no targets, as such, are fixed for the procurement of food grains.

How is the Procurement of rice undertaken under levy system?

Levy system of procurement of rice has been discontinued from 01-10-2015 onwards.

What is the Scheme of Decentralized Procurement(DCP) of food grains?

ThThe scheme of Decentralized Procurement of food grains was introduced by the Government in 1997-98 with a view to enhancing the efficiency of procurement and PDS and encouraging local procurement to the maximum extent thereby extending the benefits of MSP to local farmers as well as to save on transit costs. This also enables procurement of food grains more suited to the local taste.

Under the decentralized procurement scheme, the State Government itself undertakes direct purchase of paddy and wheat and procurement of levy rice on behalf of Government of India. Purchase centres are opened by the State Governments and their agencies as per their requirements. The State Governments procure, store and distribute food grains under TPDS and other welfare schemes. In the event of the total quantity of wheat and rice thus procured falling short of the total allocation made by the Central Government for meeting the requirement of TPDS and other schemes, the Central Government, through FCI, meets the deficit out of the Central Pool stocks.

The Central Government undertakes to meet the entire expenditure incurred by the State Governments on the procurement operations as per the approved costing. The Central Government also monitors the quality of food grains procured under the scheme and reviews the arrangements made to ensure that the procurement operations are carried on smoothly.

Targeted Public Distribution System (TPDS)

What is the Targeted Public Distribution System? What are the various entitlements being given under the scheme?

In June 1997, the Government of India launched the Targeted Public Distribution System (TPDS) with focus on the poor.

  • TPDS is operated under the joint responsibility of Central Government and State/Union Territory (UT) Governments. The Central Government is responsible for procurement, allocation and transportation of food grains up to the designated depots of the Food Corporation of India. The operational responsibilities for lifting and distributing the allocated food grains within the States/UTs, identification of eligible Below Poverty Line (BPL) families, issuance of ration cards to them and supervision over distribution of allocated food grains to eligible card holders through the fair price shops are that of the State/UT Governments.
  • Government of India has been making allocations of food grains to Below Poverty Line (BPL) families under Targeted Public Distribution System (TPDS) on the basis of 1993-94 poverty estimates of Planning Commission and March 2000 population estimates of Registrar General of India or the number of such families actually identified and ration cards issued to them by the State/UT Governments, whichever is less. Government of India has been making allocation of subsidized food grains for all the accepted number of 6.52 crore BPL families including about 2.42 crore Antyodaya Anna Yojana (AAY) families @ 35 kg per family per month. Allocation of subsidized food grains are also made to Above Poverty Line (APL) families based on the availability of food grains in the Central pool and past offtake. Presently, the allocation of food grains to APL families to the States/UTs range between 15 kg. and 35 kg. per family per month. However, these allocations will change under the National Food Security Act (NFSA), 2013, details of which may be seen under the FAQs relating to NFSA, 2013.
  • Further, Government makes allocation of food grains for other welfare schemes such as Midday Meal Scheme and Wheat Based Nutrition Programme under ICDS, Nutritional Programme for Adolescent Girls, Annapurna Scheme and Emergency Feeding Programme, etc. Govt. also makes additional allocation of food grains from time to time depending upon the availability of food grains in stocks and requirements/requests received from the State/UT Governments.

What is the AAY scheme? What are the estimated number of AAY families and the number of AAY families identified & ration cards issued in the States and UTs ?

  • In order to make Targeted Public Distribution System (TPDS) more focused and targeted, the "Antyodaya Anna Yojana” (AAY) was launched in December, 2000 for one crore poorest of the poor families. Since then the scheme has been expanded thrice. The first expansion took place on 5th June, 2003, second expansion on 3rd August, 2004 and third expansion on 12th May 2005, increasing the number of families by 50 lakh at each expansion, thus raising the total coverage of AAY families to 2.50 crore.
  • AAY contemplated identification of one crore poorest of the poor families from amongst the number of BPL families covered under TPDS within the States/UT and providing them food grains at a highly subsidized rate of Rs.2/ per kg. for wheat and Rs. 3/ per kg for rice. The States/UTs are required to bear the distribution cost, including margin to dealers and retailers as well as the transportation cost. Thus the entire food subsidy is being passed on to the consumers under the scheme. The scale of issue that was initially 25 kg per family per month has been increased to 35 kg per family per month with effect from 1st April, 2002.
  • The identification of the Antyodaya families and issue of distinctive ration cards to these families is the responsibility of the concerned State Governments. Guidelines were issued to the States/UTs for identification of the poorest of the poor families as Antyodaya families and additional Antyodaya families under the expanded AAY.
  • The focus on the following groups has been enshrined in the scheme guidelines:
    • Landless agriculture laborers, marginal farmers, rural artisans/craftsmen such as potters, tanners, weavers, blacksmiths, carpenters, slum dwellers, and persons earning their livelihood on daily basis in the informal sector like porters, coolies, rickshaw pullers, hand cart pullers, fruit and flower sellers, snake charmers, rag pickers, cobblers, destitute and other similar categories in both rural and urban areas.
    • Households headed by widows or terminally ill persons/disabled persons/ persons aged 60 years or more with no assured means of subsistence or societal support.
    • Widows or terminally ill persons or disabled persons or persons aged 60 years or more or single women or single men with no family or societal support or assured means of subsistence.
    • All primitive tribal households.
  • The above guidelines have further been amended to include all eligible BPL families of HIV positive persons in the AAY list on priority against the criteria mentioned in the guidelines for identification of families under AAY within respective ceilings on numbers of AAY families communicated by this Department.
  • Up to 2.50 crore families may be covered under the scheme. However, as on 30.09.2014, so far 2.42 crore families have been issued AAY cards by the States/UTs.

What is the procedure for obtaining BPL/AAY/APL ration card?

Targeted Public Distribution System (TPDS) is operated under the joint responsibility of the Central and the State/Union Territory (UT) Governments. Central Government is responsible for procurement, allocation and transportation of food grains up to the designated depots of the Food Corporation of India. The operational responsibility for allocation and distribution of food grains within the States/UTs, identification of eligible Below Poverty Line (BPL) families, issuance of ration cards to them and supervision over and monitoring of functioning of Fair Price Shops (FPSs) rests with the concerned State/UT Government. In view of the above, as this Department does not issue BPL/AAY/APL ration card, for this purpose an individual may approach the Food and Civil Supplies office of the concerned State/UT.

Under National Food Security Act (NFSA), 2013, coverage under TPDS has been delinked from poverty estimates. The coverage of 75% and 50% of the rural and urban population respectively prescribed under the Act is substantially above the poverty estimates. Subject to coverage determined for each State/UT, the State Government or UT Administrations are required to identify the eligible households and issue ration cards to them. Thus, States/UTs will issue ration cards to the eligible households covered under the Priority Households and Antyodaya Anna Yojana (AAY).

How much quantity of Wheat and Rice are admissible for a BPL/AAY Cardholder and at what price?

Allocation of food grains (rice and wheat) is made by Central Government under Targeted Public Distribution System(TPDS) @ 35 kg. per family per month for Below Poverty Line (BPL) families including Antyodaya Anna Yojana (AAY) families in the country. Allocations of food grains for Above Poverty Line (APL) families are made depending upon availability of food grain stocks in the Central Pool and past offtake by the State/UT. The allocations for APL families in States/UTs range between 15 to 35 kg per family per month.

The Central Issue Price(CIP) of food grains being supplied under TPDS is as under:-

Commodity APL BPL

(figure in Rs. per kg)

AAY

Rice 8.30
(Grade ‘A’)
- -
- 7.95
(Common)
5.65 3.00
Wheat 6.10 4.15 2.00
Coarse grains 4.50 3.00 1.50

However, under NFSA 2013, the APL and BPL categories have been done away with and instead, only, eligible households i.e. priority households and the households covered under the AAY shall be entitled to receive food grains under TPDS i.e. rice, wheat and coarse grains @ Rs 3/-, 2/- and Rs. 1/- per kg respectively. The entitlements of priority households shall be @ 5 kg per person per month and the AAY families will get 35 kg per family per month.

What is the grievance redressal mechanism available for the beneficiaries of TPDS?

The operational responsibility for allocation and distribution of food grains within the States/UTs, identification of eligible Below Poverty Line (BPL) families, issuance of ration cards to them and supervision over and monitoring of functioning of Fair Price Shops (FPSs) rests with the concerned State/UT Government. Therefore, as and when complaints are received in the Department from individuals and organizations as well as through press reports, they are sent to State/UT Governments concerned for inquiry and appropriate action. In case of any grievance relating to the above- referred aspects, the Food & Civil Supplies authorities of the State/UT concerned may be approached.

Further, some States/UTs have established toll free Helpline numbers for redressal and registration of grievances under TPDS. A list of the toll free and other Helpline numbers reported to be established in the States/UTs is enclosed as per Annexure.

NFSA, 2013 also provides for a two tier grievance redressal mechanism comprising of District Grievance Redressal Officer (DGRO) at the District level and State Food Commission (SFC) at the State level.

Annexure

List of Toll-free Helplines for TPDS in States/UTs (as on 28.10.2014)

Sr. No. State / UT 4-digit 1800 series Other number
1 Andaman and Nicobar Islands 1967 - -
2 Andhra Pradesh 1967 1800-425-2977
1800-425-0082
-
3 Arunachal Pradesh 1967 - -
4 Assam - 1800-345-3611 -
5 Bihar - 1800-3456-194 -
6 Chandigarh 1967 1800-180-2068 -
7 Chhattisgarh 1967 1800-233-3663 -
8 Dadra and Nagar Haveli - 1800-233-4004 -
9 Daman and Diu - - -
10 Delhi 1967 1800-11-0841 -
11 Goa - 1800-233-0022 -
12 Gujarat 1967 1800-233-5500 -
13 Haryana 1967 1800-180-2090
1800-180-2087
-
14 Himachal Pradesh - 1800-180-8026 -
15 Jammu and Kashmir 1967 1800-180-7011 -
16 Jharkhand - - -
17 Karnataka 1967 1800-425-9339 -
18 Kerala 1967 1800-425-1550 -
19 Lakshadweep - - -
20 Madhya Pradesh 1967 - 155343
181
21 Maharashtra 1967 1800-22-4950 -
22 Manipur 1967 1800-345-3821 -
23 Meghalaya 1967 1800-345-3644 -
24 Mizoram 1967 1800-345-3891 -
25 Nagaland 1800-345-3704
1800-345-3705
-
26 Orissa - 1800-345-6770 155335
27 Puducherry - - -
28 Punjab - - -
29 Rajasthan - 1800-180-6030
1800-180-6126
-
30 Sikkim 1967 1800-345-3236 -
31 Tamil Nadu - - (044) 2859-2828
32 Telangana 1967 - -
33 Tripura - - -
34 Uttar Pradesh 1967 1800-180-0150 -
35 Uttarakhand - - -
36 West Bengal 1967 1800-345-5505 -

What measures have been taken to improve the PDS in the Country?

Strengthening and streamlining of TPDS is a continuous process. Central Government has regularly reviewed and issue instructions from time to time to States/Union Territories to strengthen functioning of Targeted Public Distribution System (TPDS) by improving monitoring mechanism and vigilance, increased transparency in functioning of TPDS, adoption of revised Model Citizen’s Charter, use of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) tools and to improve the efficiency of Fair Price Shop operations. A Nine Point Action Plan is also under implementation since July2006 for monitoring the functioning of TPDS in States/UTs.

Moreover, Section 12 of NFSA, 2013 stipulates that (1) The Central and State Governments shall endeavor to progressively undertake necessary reforms in the Targeted Public Distribution System in consonance with the role envisaged for them in the Act. The reforms shall, inter alia, include—

  • doorstep delivery of food grains to the TPDS outlets;
  • application of information and communication technology tools including end-to-end computerisation in order to ensure transparent recording of transactions at all levels, and to prevent diversion;
  • leveraging ''Aadhaar'' for unique identification, with biometric information of entitled beneficiaries for proper targeting of benefits under this Act;
  • preference to public institutions or public bodies such as Panchayats, self help groups, co-operatives, in licensing of fair price shops and management of fair price shops by women or their collectives;
  • diversification of commodities distributed under the Public Distribution System over a period of time;
  • support to local public distribution models and grains banks;
  • introducing schemes, such as, cash transfer, food coupons, or other schemes, to the targeted beneficiaries in lieu of their food grain entitlements specified in Chapter II, in such area and manner as may be prescribed by the Central Government.

Whether Government of India is undertaking any program for strengthening and upgrading the skills of personnel engaged in the functioning and implementation of TPDS.

Department of Food & Public Distribution, Government of India is implementing a scheme component called TPDS- Training. This aims at strengthening and upgrading the skills of personnel engaged in the functioning and implementation of TPDS by conducting training programs and organizing lectures, seminars and workshops on policy issues with regard to TPDS and related fields for functionaries of various levels in the State Food and Civil Supplies Department and State Agencies like State Civil Supplies Corporations, etc. To make TPDS more effective & efficient, training is also provided to FPS owners, members of PRIs and Urban Local Bodies and members of Vigilance Committees at various levels, engaged in TPDS. In order to successfully implement National Food Security Act (NFSA), 2013, training programs are also being organized under the scheme to sensitize and train key official of the State/UT Governments, FCI, Master Trainers nominated by States/UTs, etc through FCI or other agency.

Central Government provides financial assistance to the State/UT Governments for conducting training programs @ Rs.500/- per person per day. The maximum duration of the training program may be five working days and the maximum assistance per training program would be Rs.50,000/-. In the case of Seminars/ Workshops the duration is two days. The financial assistance for conducting Seminars/Workshops is also Rs.500/- per person per day and the maximum assistance per Seminar/Workshop would be Rs.50,000/-.

What is the provision for giving commission/margin to the FPS dealers/owners for distribution of food grains by them under TPDS?

Public Distribution System (Control) Order, 2001 mandates the States/UT Governments to issue licenses to Fair Price Shops owners, monitor their operations and take all required action to ensure smooth functioning of TPDS. The State/UT Governments have been given flexibility in the matter of fixing the margin for the fair price shops. This is, however, not to apply to distribution of food grains under Antyodaya Anna Yojana where end retail price is to be retained at Rs.2 a kg for wheat and Rs.3 a kg for rice. The issue prices of food grains at Fair Price Shops are fixed by the State/UT Governments keeping into consideration the transport and handling charges, margin to be paid to the fair price shops owners, etc.

Computerisation

Is there any scheme/project of Government of India on computerisation of TPDS?

Government has initiated implementation of Component-I of the scheme for ‘End-to-end Computerisation of TPDS Operations’, which comprises digitization of ration cards/beneficiary and other databases, computerization of supply-chain management and setting up of transparency portal and grievance redressal mechanisms.

Component-I of the Plan Scheme was approved in October 2012 by the Government for implementation in all States/UTs on cost-sharing basis under the 12th Five Year Plan (2012-17) at a total cost of Rs.884.07 crore, out of which Government of India’s share is Rs. 489.37 crore and States/UTs share is Rs. 394.70 crore. In addition to the financial support, Central Government is also providing requisite technical support through NIC to the States/UTs as per their requirements.

What are the aims and objectives of the scheme 'End-to-end Computerization of TPDS Operations' in the country?

Computerization of TPDS operations has been taken up with the aim to improve the efficiency of the current system and to address various challenges such as leakages and diversion of food grains, fake and bogus ration cards, lack of transparency and weak grievance redressal mechanisms

What are the details regarding various components of the scheme?

Component-I of the Scheme on End-to-end Computerisation of TPDS Operations comprises following four key activities:

  • Digitisation of Beneficiary Database
    • Availability of beneficiary information in electronic form.
    • Ration card services like addition / deletion/ modification available online through F&CS offices, service centres, kiosks, etc.
    • SMS alerts automatically generated for ration card related requests
    • Validation and de-duplication of data. Databases of Aadhaar, NPR, SECC, electoral data, etc. can also be used to compare data.
  • Digitisation of Other databases
    • Digitized information created regarding F&CS offices, wholesalers, FPSs, Godowns, etc.
    • Hosting of databases on State portals without restrictions on public access
  • Computerisation of Supply Chain Management
    • Online allocation orders to be generated based on State allocation policy and beneficiary data
    • District/ FPS wise allocation order to be put on State portal and also sent online to FCI, district F&CS offices etc.
    • Movement from FCI - State Godowns - FPS
    • Online generation of release order/truck challans/ delivery orders.
    • Commodity lifting information to be put on web-site
    • SMS alerts to all concerned upon dispatch/ receipt of food grains
    • Stock position at godowns to be available online
  • Grievance Redressal mechanisms and Transparency Portal
    • A common number ‘1967’ and 1800 series toll-free number for grievance registration & redressal to be set up in States
    • Beneficiaries to get SMS based acknowledgement of their complaint, its resolution, etc.
    • Facility to track grievances and ascertain status through online mechanism
    • Setting up Transparency Portal at State/UT and National level which have all TPDS related information in the public domain.

    Component-II of the scheme, covering FPS automation:

    In consultation with NIC, Department of Electronics & Information Technology (DeitY) and Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), this Department has prepared guidelines for Fair Price Shop (FPS) automation, which were sent to all States/UTs on 11.11.2014. FPS automation involves, installation of Point of Sale (PoS) devices at FPS for authentication of beneficiaries, recording of sales to beneficiaries at the FPS; and uploading of transaction data in central server. As per the said guidelines, NIC is entrusted to develop software for PoS device and overall solution. This Department has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with STQC Directorate (attached office of DeitY) on 07.01.2015 for testing of PoS device. As regards financial assistance, Government has approved FPS dealers’ margins (@ Rs. 87/QTL.) under NFSA which also includes reimbursement of Rs. 17/QTL. for their expenditure towards purchase and operations of the PoS/Mobile Tablet device at the FPS for automation.

Are there any guidelines for implementation of the scheme?

Keeping in view requests received from the States/UTs for clarification on various aspects of the scheme and also with a view to provide a comprehensive way forward for its implementation, a need was felt for detailed guidelines for implementation of the scheme. Accordingly, the Department in consultation with NIC has prepared the Implementation Guidelines for use of Food and Civil Supplies Departments of States/UTs. Draft guidelines were circulated to all States/UTs in June 2013 for their views/comments and the finalised Guidelines were thereafter issued in September 2013 .A copy of the Guidelines is available at National PDS Portal.

Are there any timelines for implementation of the scheme?

States/UTs had been asked to complete the following activities as per the timelines indicated against them:

  • Digitisation of beneficiary database - March 2013
  • Computerisation of supply-chain - October 2013.

However, the progress among States has been slow and uneven due to delay in finalisation of action plans by States, late submission of their financial proposals, practical problems faced during implementation, etc. The progress in States/UTs is being monitored closely by the Department and the NIC for ensuring expeditious completion of the project.

What is the role of National Informatics Centre (NIC) under the scheme?

National Informatics Centre (NIC) is the technology partner and the Implementation Agency for Centre i.e. the D/o Food & Public Distribution (DoF&PD). NIC will provide the application software (s) for Centre & States/UTs under this Scheme. NIC would carry out the configuration/ customisation of the application software for meeting the requirements of the respective State/UT and also facilitate its roll-out in States/UTs in a time bound manner. NIC would also provide training to State F&CS Officers/staff on the technology solution for TPDS Computerisation.

Can States/UTsdevelop their own application software for implementing the scheme?

States / UTs may choose NIC as their technology solution partner or any other agency for end-to-end computerisation of TPDS including implementation of the project or choose NIC application modules / services in whole or in part as per their requirements.

Can State/UTs hire System Integrators?

The States/UTs have the option to either undertake the implementation themselves, or through NIC or hire System Integrators (SIs) for rolling out the technology solution at State level. Such SIs shall be selected though open bid process by the respective States / UTs. The detailed scope of SI’s work would be defined by the States/UTs in consultation with NIC. Well defined Service Level Agreements (SLAs) with clearly identified deliverables and timelines are to be prepared by each State/UT.

What is the transparency portal for TPDS?

All States/UTs have been asked to develop a single transparency portal which should have all TPDS related data and information available for public view without restriction on access and the same should be widely publicized. The transparency portal would host information in public domain, such as lists of beneficiaries, FPSs, Storage godowns / depots, F&CS offices / officers, monthly allocation, actual off-take, etc. The content on the portal must be in the local language of the State/UT as well as in English wherever possible. Information about availability of food grains will also be disseminated through SMS / email to the registered beneficiaries and other registered individuals in the local community.NIC has prepared various reporting formats, which could be adopted by States/UTs for hosting the TPDS related MIS reports/details on their portals. A copy of the same was sent to all States/UTs by the Department on 11.09.2012.

Under the scheme, States/UTs are developing their respective TPDS web portals. Besides, this Department has also launched a National PDS Portal. The objective of the National portal is to provide TPDS related information pertaining to all States/UTs through a single platform in the public domain. All States/UTs have been requested to maintain and update the data on the National portal through application software and also provide links to their State TPDS portals’ data using web-services.

How will computerisation help in grievance redressal?

Toll-free Helpline numbers are to be set up by each State/UT for grievance registration and redressal. This number would be widely publicized throughout the State/UT. The provision of registration, receipt of acknowledgement and tracking of public grievances would also be available on transparency portal. A dedicated call centre is to be deployed by the States/UTs for addressing the grievances of the individuals. This Department has issued guidelines on 31.01.2013 for setting up of 4-digit common toll free Helpline number ‘1967’ across the country and an1800 series toll-free number in all States/UTs.

Vigilance

What type of complaints/issues to be referred to Vigilance Department?

Complaints regarding corrupt practices (demanding or acceptances of bribe)/misuse of official position for private gain/doubtful integrity and cases involving a Vigilance angle against the officials of the department and also board level officials of FCI and CWC.

How many RTI request received during a particular year/ period and how many have been disposed of?

A CIC Annual Report as well as CIC Quarterly Report showing the RTI applications and its disposal is posted on the website of this Department.

How to register the complaints to Vigilance Division?

Online complaints may be registered to the Vigilance Division / attaching the documentary proof as PDF file, if any you can also send an e-mail tojsstg[dot]fpd[at]nic[dot] in .

Source of Information / Verbal complaints can be reported to the phone numbers which is given on the "Contact Us” of the Department’s Website.

Written complaints with supporting documents can be also be sent to the following address:

The Chief Vigilance Officer
Department of Food & Public Distribution
Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution
Krishi Bhawan, New Delhi - 110001

Whether all complaints received are considered/processed by the Vigilance Division?

Yes, all genuine complaints received are examined by the Vigilance Division/CVO and ordered for verification/detailed investigation/administrative action/for filing as deemed fit.

How the anonymous/pseudonymous complaints are dealt?

As per CVC’s guidelines no action is taken on anonymous/pseudonymous complaints. However they must just be filed.

Impex

What is the import export policy of India regarding food grains?

Import of food grains in the country is allowed and there is no restrictions at present .Export of wheat and non-Basmati rice by private exporters under "Free Export” category has been permitted with effect from 9-9-2011. Export of limited quantities of wheat from Central Pool stocks has also been permitted during 2012-13 and 2013-14.

Does India have policy of unrestricted exports of food grains?

The import export policy in respect of food grains is basically subservient to the main policy of first ensuring national food security.

To which countries India is exporting food grains by way of humanitarian aid and how much has been exported so far?

In the recent years, Government of India has allowed export of wheat to Afghanistan and non-Basmati rice to the Republic of Yemen on diplomatic/humanitarian aid basis. While delivery of 2447.702 MTs of rice to the Republic of Yemen through WFP has been completed during 2012-13, a quantity of 2.50 lakh tons of wheat has been allowed for export to Afghanistan as donation in 2011-12, out of which 1.00 lakh tons were delivered during 2012-13. The balance quantity of 1.50 lakh tons has been delivered during the current year by February,2014.

Movement

What is the mechanism in place to monitor the movement of food grains across the country?

The movement of food grains for Public Distribution System and other schemes from surplus region to deficient areas Vis-a-vis storage capacity, procurement, stocks, allocations and off-take is closely monitored by this Department regularly in co-ordination with FCI and Railways. Optimum evacuation of food grains from the procuring regions and induction and stocking of food grains in the North-Eastern States, Jammu & Kashmir and other areas, identified from time to time, is specially monitored.

Whether the Department consults FCI and the Railways authorities with regard to movement of food grains?

The Department takes up the matter with Railway authorities in case shortfall in food grain stocks is reported in any State and co-ordinates for providing additional rakes to augment the food grain stock in that State.

How is movement of food grains planned?

Movement of food grain is planned on monthly basis by FCI after proper analysis of information on stock position, offtake and vacant space in the depots collected from all over India before the start of the succeeding month ..

S&R Division

How many Quality Control Cells are functioning under the Ministry and what are their main functions?

Eight Quality Control Cells (QCCs) located at New Delhi, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Bangalore, Bhopal, Bhubaneshwar, Lucknow and Pune are functioning under the direct control of the Department of Food & Public Distribution.

The main objective of these QCCs is to help State Governments and FCI to ensure quality of the food grains at the time of procurement, storage and distribution. Surprise checks are conducted at Food Storage Depots, by the officers of these cells to ensure the quality of food grains. It is also ensured that the guidelines/instructions issued by Government about proper storage and maintenance of food grains are followed by the FCI, CWC, SWCs and State agencies. These cells attend to various complaints received from MPs, VIPs, State Governments, media and consumers about the quality of food grains during procurement, storage and distribution. Discrepancies/shortcomings noticed during inspection/ investigations are communicated to the concerned authorities for taking remedial measures including action against the delinquents.

Why there is a perception that large scale damages or rotting of food grains occur all over the country? Is it true?

It is not true that there is large scale damage to food grains. An impression has been created by the media that a substantial quantity of food grains are damaged. Some quantities of food grains stored in godowns may get damaged during storage due to various reasons, such as, storage pest attack, leakages in godowns, procurement of poor quality stock, during movement of stocks, exposure to rains, floods, negligence on the part of concern officials etc. The following table indicates percentage of accrual of damaged food grains Vis-a-vis off take from FCI stocks for the last five years-

Item 2009-10 2010-11 2011-12 2012-13 2013-14 2014-15
(up to 31.10.2014)
Total offtake of stock (wheat & rice) from FCI godowns (In lakh tons) excluding DCP States 371.06 432.10 473.59 552.60 523.16 275.04
Quantity accrued as damaged/ non-issuable (In lakh tons) 0.070 0.060 0.030 0.031 0.247 0.115
Percentage on non-issuable stock Vis-a-vis offtake 0.019 0.014 0.007 0.006 0.047 0.042

What is CAP storage? Is the food grains stored in CAP at risk? How long it can be stored in CAP?

CAP stands for Cover and Plinth where in food grains (wheat and paddy) bags are stored in dome shaped stacks of standard size & height on high plinth with pucca masonry work and properly covered with low density polyethylene covers. Due to constraints of covered godowns, in food grains surplus states like Punjab and Haryana wheat is stored in CAP.

Wheat stocks kept in scientific CAP are not at risk, if required measures are taken to ensure safe storage of food grains. food grains are generally stored only in scientifically built CAPs and the health of the food grains is monitored at regular intervals by a system of checks and super checks at different levels. Wheat can be stored in CAP for longer periods if scientific code of practices is followed properly.

What are causes of storage losses?

The following reasons contribute mainly to storage loss as informed by FCI

  • Loss of moisture
  • Prolonged storage
  • Different climatic conditions
  • Bleeding/spillage of grains from gunny bags
  • Bird/ rodent trouble in storage complexes
  • Sliding down/ deterioration of stocks
  • Fungus/ insect infestation of stocks

What are the causes of transit/handling losses?

The following reasons contribute mainly to transit losses as informed by FCI

  • Pilferage and theft en-route
  • Driage of moisture during long transit
  • Multiple handling
  • Use of hooks by labor
  • Weak texture of gunnies & bursting of bags
  • Spillage through wagon holes/ cleavages & flap doors
  • Spillage and theft at transshipment points
  • Different modes of weighment

What steps have been taken by FCI for avoiding damage?

FCI is taking various measures right from procurement of food grains as per specifications and up to storage by adopting codeof storage practices as follows:

Food grains are stored in scientifically built godowns.

When Godown space is in shortage, stocks are stored in CAP (Cover and Plinth) which is also based on scientific lines taking all precautionary measures at the time of storing the food grains.

The health of food grains is monitored at regular intervals by a system of check and super checks at different levels. Following checks/super checks are conducted in the godowns by FCI to ensure proper preservation of food grains in the storage.

  • Fortnightly inspection of stock on 100% basis by Technical Assistants
  • Monthly inspection by Manager (QC)
  • Quarterly inspection by AGM (QC)
  • Super checks by Regional, Zonal and FCI Headquarter Squads
  • Insect infestation is prevented by undertaking periodic prophylactic treatments. Whenever insect infestation is noticed at any time during periodic inspections, immediate curative treatment is given to infested stocks.
  • Bird infestation is controlled by using door nets.
  • Since godowns are built on scientific basis, food grains do not get infested by rodents. However, in the premises of godowns/CAP storage whenever rodents are noticed, rodenticides are used to eradicate them.
  • FIFO (First in First Out) system is followed in liquidation of stocks to contain any deterioration due to longer storage.

What are food safety standards for the food grains?

Prevention of Food Adulteration Act 1954 with rules and regulations amended from time to time has been repealed and Food Safety and Standards Act 2006 with rules and regulations has come into force from 5th August, 2011.

STANDARDS FOR WHEAT AND RICE UNDER FOOD SAFETY AND STANDARDS ACT/REGULATIONS (Formerly PFA):

Food grains meant for human consumption shall be whole and broken kernels of cereals, millets and pulses. In addition to the under mentioned standards to which food grains shall conform, they shall be free from Argemone mexicana and Khesari in any form. They shall be free from added coloring matter. The food grains shall not contain any insecticide residues more than limits prescribed under the rules & regulations of Food Safety and Standards Act 2006.

Wheat: Wheat shall be the dried mature grains of Triticum aestivum Linn Or Triticum Vulgare Vill. Triticum durum Desf. Triticum sphaerococcum Perc. Triticum dicoccum Schubl, Triticum compactum Host. It shall be sweet, clean and wholesome. It shall also conform to the following standards namely:-

(i) Moisture Not more than 14 percent by weight (obtained by heating the pulverized grains at 130 degree C – 133 degree C for two hours)
(ii) Foreign matter
(Extraneous matter)
Not more than 1 percent by weight of which not more than 0.25% by weight shall be mineral matter and not more than 0.10 per cent by weight shall be impurities of animal origin.
(iii) Other edible grains Not more than 6 per cent by weight.
(iv) Damaged grains Not more than 6.0 per cent by weight including Karnal bunt affected grains and ergot affected grains shall not exceed 3.0 per cent and 0.05 per cent by weight respectively.
(v) Weevilled Grains Not more than 10 per cent by count.
(vi) Uric Acid Not more than 100 mg. Per kg.
(vii) Aflatoxin Not more than 30 micrograms per kg.
(viii) Deoxynivalenol (DON) Not more than 1000 micrograms per kg.

Provided that the total of foreign matter, other edible grains and damaged grains shall not exceed 12 per cent by weight.

Rice

Rice shall be the mature kernels or pieces of kernels of Oryza sativa Linn. obtained from paddy as raw or parboiled. It shall be dry, sweet, clean wholesome and free from unwholesome poisonous substance. It shall also conform to the following standards namely:

  • Moisture - Not more than 16.0 per cent by weight (obtained by heating the pulverized grains at 130 degree C – 133 degree C for two hours).
  • Foreign matter - Not more than 1 per cent by weight of which not more (Extraneous matter) than 0.25 per cent by weight shall be mineral matter and not more than 0.10 cent by weight shall be impurities of animal origin.
  • Damaged grains - Not more than 5 per cent by weight
  • Weevilled grains - Not more than 10 per cent by count.
  • Uric Acid - Not more than 100 mg. Per kg.
  • Aflatoxin - Not more than 30 micrograms per kilogram.

Provided that the total of foreign matter, other edible grains and damaged grains shall not exceed 6 per cent by weight.

What are the treatments given to the food grains for saving them from damages?

Insect infestation is prevented by undertaking periodic prophylactic treatments. Whenever insect infestation is noticed at any time during periodic inspection immediate curative treatment is given to infested stocks.

Prophylactic Treatments

S.No. Pesticides Dilution Dosage Frequency
1 Malathion
50% EC
1:100 3Lt solution per 100 Sq.mt. Once in 15 days
2 Deltamethrin
2.5% WP
40gms /Lt 3 Lt solution per 100 Sq.mt. Once in 90 days
3 DDVP
76% EC
1:150 Empty space treatment 3 Lt. Solution per 100 Square Meter. Air charging as & when required

Curative Treatments

Pesticide Type of Storage Dosage Period of exposure
Aluminium Phosphide In cover fumigation 9 gms/MT Exposure period minimum 5 days
- In shed fumigation 63 gms/ 28 Cu.Meter. -
- In CAP Storage 9gms/MT+20% additional -

In the premises of CAP storage whenever rodents are noticed rodenticides must be used to eradicate them.

National Food Security Act, 2013

When the National Food Security Act, 2013 (NFSA) has come into force?

Government has notified the National Food Security Act, 2013 (NFSA) on 10th September, 2013. It has deemed to have come into force on 5th July, 2013, the date on which the National Food Security Ordinance, 2013 was promulgated.

However, the NFSA provides for a period not exceeding one year, i.e. up to 04.07.2014, to the State Governments for identification of households to be covered under Targeted Public Distribution System (TPDS).

What are the entitlements for food grains under NFSA?

Every person belonging to identified eligible households is entitled to receive 5 Kg of food grains per person per month at subsidized prices under TPDS. The existing Antyodaya Anna Yojana (AAY) households, which constitute the poorest of the poor, will continue to receive 35 Kg of food grains per household per month.

What are the prices at which food grains will be provided to the entitled beneficiaries?

Food grains under TPDS under the Act will be made available at subsidized prices of Rs. 3, 2 and 1 per Kg for rice, wheat and coarse grains respectively for a period of three years from the date of commencement of the Act. Thereafter prices will be suitably linked to Minimum Support Prices (MSPs).

Whether the entire population of the country is covered under the Act to receive subsidized food grains?

Upto 75% of the rural population and 50% of the urban population will be covered under TPDS under the Act, thus covering about two-thirds of the population of the country.

Whether the percentage coverage of 75%/50% for rural/urban population for subsidized food grains under TPDS is applicable uniformly to all States/UTs?

No, coverage of 75%/50% for rural/urban population is at the all India level, corresponding to which, State-wise coverage has been determined by the Central Government for each State/UT.

What is the basis for determining State-wise coverage under TPDS under the NFSA and what are the State-wise percentage coverage?

Planning Commission has determined the State-wise coverage by using the NSSO Household Consumption Survey data for 2011-12. The State-wise percentage coverage of population under TPDS under NFSA is atAppendix IPDF file that opens in new window. To know how to open PDF file refer Help section located at bottom of the site. (148KB)

How and by whom the eligible households for coverage under TPDS will be identified?

Within the coverage under TPDS determined for each State, the work of identification of eligible households is to be done by States/UTs. States will identify AAY households in accordance with the guidelines applicable to the AAY scheme and remaining households as priority households in accordance with their own guidelines. The identification is to be done by States/UTs within a period of 365 days from the commencement of the Act.

How the food grains will be allocated to a State till it starts implementation of the Act/identification of households under TPDS are complete?

The Act provides that the State Govt. shall continue to receive the allocation of food grains from the Central Govt. under the existing TPDS till the identification of households for coverage under NFSA is complete.

Whether based on the coverage and entitlements provided in the Act, food grains allocation for some States/UTs would be lower than their allocation under the existing TPDS? If so, what provision has been made in NFSA to protect the existing allocation of States/UTs?

The Act provides that if annual allocation of food grains to any State under the Act is less than the average annual offtake of food grains for last three years, the same shall be protected. Accordingly, food grains allocation for each State/UT has been determined and specified in Schedule IV of the Act.

What are the other entitlements for food security in NFSA?

In addition to entitlement for subsidized food grains under TPDS, the Act provides for nutritional support to pregnant women and lactating mothers and children. Pregnant women and lactating mothers and children in the age group of 6 months to 14 years will be entitled to meals as per prescribed nutritional norms under Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) and Mid-Day Meal (MDM) schemes. Higher nutritional norms have been prescribed for malnourished children up to 6 years of age.
Pregnant women and lactating mothers will also be entitled to receive maternity benefit of not less than Rs. 6,000.
The entitlements for pregnant women and lactating mothers and children up to the age of 6 years, provided in the Act, will be implemented by the Ministry of Women and Child Development. The entitlements for children in the age group of 6 years to 14 years will be implemented by the Ministry of Human Resource Development (Department of School Education and Literacy).

What will happen in case the entitled food grains or meals are not provided to the beneficiary?

In case of non-supply of the entitled quantities of food grains or meals to entitled persons, such persons shall be entitled to receive food security allowance from the concerned State Government.

What is the mechanism for addressing the grievances in the Act?

The Act provides that every State Government shall put in place an internal grievance redressal mechanism which may include call centres, help lines, designation of nodal officers, or such other mechanism as may be prescribed.
It is further provided that the State Government shall appoint or designate, for each district, an officer to be the District Grievance Redressal Officer (DGRO) for expeditious and effective redressal of grievances of the aggrieved persons in matters relating to distribution of entitled food grains or meals and to enforce the entitlements under the Act.
There is also a provision that every State Government shall constitute a State Food Commission for the purpose of monitoring and review of implementation of the Act., States will have the flexibility to use the existing machinery or set up separate mechanism.

Where can appeal against an order of DGRO be filed?

Any complainant or the officer or authority against whom any order has been passed by a DGRO, who is not satisfied with the redressal of grievance, may file an appeal against such order before the State Food Commission.

Whether there is any provision for levying a penalty for not complying with the provisions of the Act?

The Act provides that any public servant or authority found guilty, by the State Commission at the time of deciding any complaint or appeal, of failing to provide the relief recommended by the District Grievance Redressal Officer, without reasonable cause, or wilfully ignoring such recommendation, shall be liable to penalty not exceeding five thousand rupees.

Who is responsible for delivery of entitlements to the beneficiaries?

The main responsibility of the Central Government is to allocate from the central pool the required quantity of food grains to the State Governments under TPDS and in respect of other entitlements, at the prices specified in Schedule I of the Act. The Central Government is also responsible to provide for transportation of food grains, as per allocation, to the depots designated by the Central Government in each State.
It is the responsibility of State Governments to take delivery of food grains from the designated depots of the Central Government, organize intra-State allocation for delivery of food grains at the doorstep of each fair price shop and ensure actual delivery or supply of food grains to entitled persons under TPDS. Similarly, in respect of entitlements for meals to women and children, it is the responsibility of State Governments to take delivery of food grains from the designated depots and ensure actual delivery of entitled benefits to the beneficiaries.

What is the role of local authorities like panchayats, municipal authorities etc. in implementation of NFSA?

NFSA provides that the local authorities shall be responsible for proper implementation of the Act in their respective areas and the State Government may assign, by notification, additional responsibilities for implementation of the TPDS to the local authority. It is further provided that in implementing different schemes of the Ministries and Departments of the Central Government and the State Governments, prepared to implement provisions of this Act, the local authorities shall be responsible for discharging such duties and responsibilities as may be assigned to them, by notification, by the respective State Governments.

Storage

What are the functions of the Central Warehousing Corporation (CWC)?

The functions of the CWC as provided under the Warehousing Corporations Act, 1962 are as follows:

  • To acquire and build godowns and warehouses at suitable places in India or abroad.
  • To run warehouses for the storage of agricultural produce, seeds, manures, fertilizers, agricultural implements and notified commodities offered by individuals, cooperative societies and other institutions.
  • To arrange facilities for transport of agricultural produce, seeds, manures, fertilizers, agricultural implements and notified commodities to and from warehouses.
  • To subscribe to the share capital of the State Warehousing Corporations.
  • To act as an agent of the Government, or on behalf of a company as defined in the Companies Act, 1956 (1 of 1956) or a body corporate established by an Act of Parliament or of a State Legislature or a Cooperative Society for the purposes of purchase, sale, storage and distribution of agricultural produce, seeds, manures, fertilizers, agricultural implements and notified commodities.
  • To enter into, with the previous approval of the Central Government, joint ventures with any Corporation established by or under any Central Act or any State Act or with any company formed and registered under the Companies Act, 1956 including foreign company or through its subsidiary companies, for carrying out its functions.
  • To establish subsidiary companies.
  • To undertake disinfestations services outside its warehouses in respect of agricultural produce or notified commodities.
  • To provide consultancy services, assistance, finance, programmes or projects related to agricultural produce or notified commodities and to undertake any other activities considered incidental to its functions.

What is the capital structure and shareholding pattern of CWC?

The authorized and paid-up share capital of CWC was Rs.100 crore and 68.02 crore, respectively. The shareholders and shareholding pattern of the CWC are as follows:

Shareholder Paid up Capital (Rs in Crore) % of shareholding
Central Government 37.42 55.02
State Bank of India 17.71 21.75
Other Scheduled Banks 14.09 15.98
Cooperative Societies 0.15 0.22
Insurance Companies 5.14 7.02
Recognized Associations & Companies dealing in Agricultural Produce or any Notified Commodity 0.01 0.01

How has CWC been augmenting its storage capacity?

CWC has been regularly augmenting its storage capacity by way of construction of godowns on its own land as well as through hiring suitable storageworthy capacity available in the vicinity. The storage capacity created by CWC during the last 5 years is as follows:-

Year Storage Capacity created(in LMT)
2013-14 2.03
2014-15 1.78
2015-16 1.62
2016-17 0.95
2017-18 0.29

What are the major activities of the CWC?

CWC provides storage and warehousing facilities for more than 400 commodities to wide range of clients comprising of public and private institutions, cooperative societies, traders, farmers, importers/exporters, etc. Besides providing the services for storage and warehousing, CWC also undertakes the following activities:

  • Providing Pest Control Services at the door step of customers which include general pest control, disinfestation of aircrafts, rail coaches, fumigation of containers/ships, pre and post construction anti termite treatment, etc.
  • Providing infrastructure such as CFSs/ICDs/Air Cargo Complexes/Cargo Terminal of ICP etc. for supporting the EXIM trade.
  • Providing handling and transport facilities at the request of the depositors.
  • Consultancy of warehouse construction and warehousing related activities.
  • Training of farmers for safe storage of foodgrains at farm level and assisting them in securing cheap institutional credit.

What has been the overall utilization of the storage capacity of CWC?

During 2017-18, the overall average capacity utilization was 79%. The average overall capacity utilization of CWC during the last 5 years are as follows:

Year Capacity Utilisation(in %)
2013-14 86
2014-15 80
2015-16 80
2016-17 74.53
2017-18 79

What was the performance of the CWC during the last 5 years?

The physical and financial performance of the CWC during the last 5 years are as follows:

Parameter 2013-14 2014-15 2015-16 2016-17 2017-18
Capacity(in LMT) 105.55 106.21 115.11 99.65 99.69
Owned/ Constructed Capacity (in LMT) 74.14 75.85 76.64 77.59 78.36
Capacity Utilization (%) 86 80 80 74.53 79
Utilization by Foodgrains (% of total capacity) 52.54 49 43.09 40.71 43.09
Turnover(Rs. in crore) 1528.19 1561.83 1639.93 1606.29 1582.94
Profit Before Tax(Rs. in crore) 256.47 260.06 283.56 260.59 27.62
Profit After Tax(Rs. in crore) 161.05 182.12 197.82 231.22 31.88
PCS Income((Rs. in crore)) 19.67 19.70 19.05 19.66 16.24
TEUs Handled (Lakh TEUs) 10.36 9.51 9.25 7.79 6.49
Net worth(Rs. in crore) 1552.73 1687.53 1819.21 1923.53 1923.38
Dividend(%) 48 54 88 142 32

What is the structure of Board of Directors of CWC?

The Board of Directors of the CWC consists of 14 Directors of whom six directors are nominated by the Central Government; one director is nominated by the State Bank of India; one director is elected by other scheduled banks; one director is elected by co-operative societies; one director is elected by insurance companies; investment trusts and other financial institutions, recognised associations and companies dealing in agricultural produce or notified commodities; three functional directors are appointed by the Central Government and a managing director is appointed by the Central Government.

Out of the 6 Directors nominated by the Central Government, two are officers not below the rank of Joint Secretary to the Government of India in the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution (Department of Food and Public Distribution) and four are non-official directors, selected by the Search Committee as envisaged in the guidelines issued by the Department of Public Enterprises.

What are the facilities extended by the CWC for the benefit of farmers?

CWC extends rebate of 30% on its storage charge to the bonafide farmers who store their produce at CWC’s warehouses. Besides this, CWC also undertakes training of farmers on post harvest losses minimization and safe storage of foodgrains at farm level. At the end of the training programme, the farmers are provided with metallic storage bins of 1.00 – 1.50 quintals capacity to the farmers for storing their produce/seeds, etc. CWC also issues Negotiable Warehouse Receipt to the depositors and assist the farmers in securing cheap institutional credit.

What is the commodity-wise utilization of CWC’s storage capacity?

The commodity-wise utilization is as under:

Foodgrain (in LMT)
FCI 28.79
Non FCI 17.34
Total 46.13
Fertiliser 1.43
Other Commodities (in LMT)
Bonded 1.67
CFS/ICDs 7.68
Others 26.24
Total 35.59
Grand Total 83.15

What activities are undertaken by CWC under its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Scheme?

Some of the activities under CSR scheme are:

  • Training of farmers on Post Harvest Losses Minimization
  • Distribution of Metallic Storage Bins
  • Creation of Rural Marketing Infrastructure on participative basis.
  • Creation of Public Convenience facilities in Rural Co-Ed/Girls schools.
  • Creation of Bus Shelters in rural areas.
  • Assistance for setting up of Computer Lab/Library in rural schools.
  • Assistance of vehicles for distribution of Mid-day Meals.
  • Distribution of tricycles / wheel chairs to differently abled persons.
  • Creation of rain water harvesting in public buildings
  • Installation of Solar Energy System
  • Installation of High Mast Tower in public places.

The above is an illustrative list and not an exhaustive one.

Explain about the Central Railside Warehouse Company Ltd.?

Central Railside Warehouse Company Ltd. (CRWC) a 100% owned subsidiary of Central Warehousing Corporation, with share capital of Rs.40.56 crores and is operating 19 RWCs with an aggregate storage capacity of 343267 MT and has handled 125312 wagons during the year 2017-18. During the year 2017-18, CWC received dividend of Rs 6.08 crore from CRWC.

What is the composition of Warehousing Development and Regulatory Authority (WDRA)?

The Warehousing Development and Regulatory Authority was established under the Warehousing (Development and Regulation) Act, 2007 and it consists of one Chairperson and two full time Members.

What is the Mission and Objectives of WDRA?

The mission of the WDRA is to ensure that the interests of the farmers are protected through the growth and development in warehousing sector. The main objectives are to improve the fiduciary trust of depositors and banks, increase liquidity in rural areas, encourage scientific warehousing of goods, lower the cost of financing, promote shorter and efficient supply chains, enhance reward for grading/quality and ensure better price risk management.

How the NWR are helpful to farmers?

The Negotiable Warehouse Receipts (NWRs) issued by the WDRA will help the farmers to seek loans from banks against the NWRs to avoid distress sales of agricultural produce during the peak marketing season and to avoid post harvest storage loss.

Number of commodities notified under the Act?

The Authority has notified 123 agricultural commodities including cereals, pulses, oil seeds, spices, rubber, tobacco, coffee etc. for issuing negotiable warehouse receipts and also 26 horticultural commodities for cold storage.

Whether the facilities for post harvest storage loan on NWRs is available?

To discourage distress sale by farmers and to encourage them to store their produce against warehouse receipts, the benefit of interest subvention was made available to small and marginal farmers having Kissan Credit Cards for a period of six months @ 7% on negotiable warehouse receipts.

How electronic Negotiable Warehouse Receipt (eNWR) is issued?

The Authority has launched electronic Negotiable Warehouse Receipt from 26th September 2017 and thereby migrating to IT based eNWR ecosystem, by licensing two Repositories namely, M/s CCRL (sponsored by CDSL) and M/s NeRL (sponsored by NCDEX). All the registered warehouses are on boarded to Repository System for issuing eNWR against the deposits. The depositor can use eNWR to get loans against underlying commodities from banks and lien will be marked by the repository

Who are the Members of Warehousing Advisory Committee of WDRA?

  • Chairman, Warehousing Development and Regulatory Authority Chairman
  • Members, Warehousing Development and Regulatory Authority Member
  • Additional Secretary & Financial Advisor, Department of Food & PD Member
  • Chairman, Forward Market Commission Member
  • Joint Secretary (Storage), Department of Food & Public Distribution Member
  • Joint Secretary/Agricultural Marketing Advisor,Department of Agriculture and Cooperation Member
  • Joint Secretary, (Consumer Affairs), Department of Consumer Affairs Member
  • Managing Director, Central Warehousing Corporation Member
  • Director General, Bureau of Indian Standards Member
  • Managing Director, Agriculture Insurance Company of India Member
  • Representative of State Bank of India Member
  • Representative of National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development Not below the rank of General Manager
  • Representative of Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry Member
  • Representative of Confederation of Indian Industry Member
  • Representative of Farmer’s Association Member
  • Representative of Cooperatives Member
  • Director, Warehousing Development and Regulatory Authority Member /Secretary

What are the functions of advisory committee?

As per section 34 (1) of the Warehousing (Development and Regulation) Act, 2007, WDRA may constitute a Warehousing Advisory Committee for the following:-

  • To advise the WDRA on the matters relating to making of Regulations under Section 51.
  • To make recommendations for effective implementation of the provisions of this Act.
  • To advise the Authority on such matters as may be referred by the Authority.

Who is required to register with the WDRA?

Sub-section (1) and (2) of Section 3 of the Warehousing (Development and Regulation) Act, 2007 provides that no person shall commence or carry on the business of warehousing issuing negotiable warehouse receipts unless he has obtained a registration certificate after fulfilling the prescribed norms in respect of the concerned warehouse or warehouses granted by the Authority under this Act.

What are the requirements for the warehouses for registration with WDRA?

The warehouse operators which fulfill the following criteria can apply for registration of their warehouse with WDRA:

  • The warehouse is constructed as per BIS/CWC/FCI standards and is storage worthy.
  • Has all the safety and security arrangements for the stock and premises.
  • Has got requisite manpower with adequate experience in warehousing.
  • Availability of requisite infrastructure in terms of weighing, grading and preservation.
  • The entity has its own Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) or adopts the model SOP of WDRA.
  • Adequate insurance is taken for the stock against fire, flood, theft, burglary, misappropriation, riots, strikes or terrorism.
  • Possesses Net worth as specified by the Authority.
  • Furnishes security deposit as specified by the Authority for securing the negotiable warehouse receipts issued by the warehouse.
  • Exhibits compliance to local laws for carrying out the business of warehousing.
  • Has a KYD process in place as prescribed by the Authority.

What is the application fee for registration of a warehouse?

Details of registration fee for different capacity of warehouses are as under:

Unit of registration Fee (non refundable)
Each warehouse with a capacity of 10,000 Ton or less Rs. 20,000
Each warehouse with a capacity of more than 10,000 Ton but less than or equal to 25,000 Ton Rs. 25,000
Each warehouse with a capacity of more than 25,000 Ton Rs. 30,000

Where the applicant/ warehouseman is a Farmer Producer Organisation or a Co-operative, the fee shall be Rs. 5,000 per warehouse.

What is the net worth requirement for registration of a warehouse?

Net worth requirement for different capacity of warehouses is as under:

Net worth Requirement
Storage capacity(in tons) Net worth(Rupees in crores)
Less than 1,000 0.1
1,001 – 3000 0.25
3,001 – 5,000 0.50
5,001 – 7000 1.00
7,001 – 10,000 2
10,001 – 15000 5
15,001 – 25,000 10
25,001 – 75,000 20
75,001 – 1,50,000 30
1,50,001 – 5,00,000 50
5,00,001 and above 100

Where the applicant/ warehouseman is a Farmer Producer Organisation or a Co-operative, the net worth should be positive.

What are the financial concessions available to Cooperative Societies and Farmer Producer Organisation (FPOs) for registration of warehouse?

Following financial concessions are provided to Cooperative Societies and FPOs to encourage them for registering their warehouses with WDRA:

  • The registration fee is only Rs. 5000/- (Rupees Five Thousand) as compared to Rs 20000 to 30000 for others.
  • Net worth is required to be only positive irrespective of the capacity, while for others it is specified with respect to the capacity of the warehouse.
  • Security deposit is Rs. 50000/- (Fifty Thousand) per warehouse in the form of a BG or bank FD (fixed irrespective of the value of NWRs issued by it), while for others it is minimum Rs 1 Lakh plus a percentage of value of NWRs issued.
  • Training of Warehouse Managers/ Supervisors by the WDRA.

What are the relaxations provided to the small capacity warehouses operated by Primary Agricultural Cooperative Societies (PACS) for registration of their warehouses?

Following relaxations have been provided for registration of small capacity warehouses operated by PACS:

  • In case the warehouse is located on a raised well drained site not liable for flooding / inundations and is away for a place likely to be affected by seepage water a plinth height of at least 30 cm may be accepted,
  • The minimum limit for capacity to be registered in case of PACS warehouses will be 100 MT.
  • Availability of parking and manoeuvring space for vehicles shall not be insisted upon.
  • The warehouse should have a stack plan drawn leaving reasonable space for alleyways.
  • Other than the Secretary of the society one more staff of the PACS shall be engaged (on full or part time basis) for storage and preservation of the goods in the warehouse.
  • vi.Availability of security guards may be desirable but not insisted upon for registration of the warehouse.
  • vii.Availability of a pucca boundary wall / barbed wire fencing shall not be insisted upon. However, the warehouse should have adequate arrangement for locking of godown and safety/security of stocks.
  • PACS warehouses up to 500 MT capacity shall have at least one fire extinguisher (of requisite type) and six fire buckets.

What are the terms and conditions for construction of godowns under Private Entrepreneurs Guarantee (PEG) Scheme?

The terms and conditions for construction of godowns under PEG Scheme are available in MTF at link http://fci.gov.in/storages.php?view=36

Whether PEG-2008 & PEG-2009 Schemes are different?

PEG-2008 Scheme has been formulated for Non De-Centralized Procurment (DCP) States and the capacity constructed under this scheme will be used by FCI for storage of central pool stocks whereas PEG-2009 Scheme has been formulated for DCP states and the capacity constructed under this scheme will be hired by State Agencies for storage of DCP stocks. However, from point of private investors, both schemes are same in nature.

How do a person can construct godown under PEG Scheme? From whom one can get the first hand information in this regard?

Any person who owns land or holding land under registered lease deed for a minimum period of 13 years with permission to construct godown or willing to acquire land by way of ownership/registered lease deed within 120 days from the date of acceptance of tender, may participate in the open tender, floated by the Nodal Agency. For first hand information, one can contact the Regional Offices of FCI or the Office of the Nodal Agency. Information in this regard is also available on the website of FCI i.e. www.fci.gov.in

How much land is required for construction of a standard size godown under PEG Scheme?

For initial 5,000 MT godowns, minimum 2 acres land is required and for subsequent 5,000 MT, 1.7 acre land is required. Minimum capacity for tendering is 5,000 MT for plain areas and 1,670 MT for hilly areas for which 0.82 acre of land is required.

What is the minimum and maximum rate of hiring of godowns under PEG Scheme?

There is no ceiling rate fixed for private investors. They have to bid under two bid system i.e. Technical bid & Price bid, and may quote the rate as per their capital investment and cost of operations. The price discovery is through open bidding system.

What is the basis of deciding reasonability of rates received through the tender process under PEG Scheme?

The reasonability of rates received through tenders are examined on the basis of the cost of land in that area, topography, cost of construction materials, urgency for the creation of storage capacity, availability of alternate storage capacity etc.

What is time frame for construction of godowns under PEG Scheme?

The successful tenderer will get a maximum period of one year for completion of construction in case of non-railway siding godown and two years in case of railway siding godowns from the date of acceptance letter. The period for construction of godowns will include the 120 days time granted for production of documents by the tenderer who intends to acquire land.

Is there any relaxation provided for delay in construction of godowns under PEG Scheme?

The delay in construction of maximum upto one year may be allowed to the tenderers on their request in writing with a corresponding reduction in the guarantee period.

What would be the guarantee coverage for the godowns constructed under PEG Scheme through pvt entrepreneurs?

Private entrepreneurs would be provided ten years guarantee for construction of godowns under the PEG Scheme.

Does FCI make agreement with entrepreneurs directly in PEG Scheme?

In the States, SWC/CWC/State Agencies are nominated as nodal agency for execution of PEG Scheme. They will publish the NIT, process the tender and enters into agreement with the successful entrepreneurs will be made by them. Wherever, FCI is acting as nodal agency, it will directly enters into agreement with the entrepreneurs.

How much EMD is required at the time of bidding for a single bid in PEG Scheme?

Technical Bid shall be accompanied by an earnest money @ Rs. 20.00 (Rs. Twenty Only) per MT. In case the Tenderer does not own land or hold it on Registered Lease but intends to acquire the same by way of Ownership/Registered Lease within 120 days from the date of acceptance letter, he shall also furnish, in addition to aforesaid EMD, a Supplementary Guarantee in the form of Bank Guarantee @ Rs. 100.00 (Rupees One Hundred Only) per MT issued by Nationalized Bank and valid for a minimum period of six months from the date of submission of Tender.

Can a person who does not own land, participate in the bidding process for construction of godowns under PEG Scheme?

A person, who does not own Land or hold it on Registered Lease but intends to acquire the same by way of Ownership/Registered Lease within 120 days from the date of acceptance letter, can apply by furnishing an addition to requisite EMD, a Supplementary Guarantee in the form of Bank Guarantee @ Rs. 100.00 per MT.

How are the locations finalized for construction of steel silos and godowns under PEG Scheme?

The locations are finalized by the High Level Committee constituted in FCI for PEG Scheme and Silos separately on the recommendations of the State Level Committees which propose locations in consultation with the State Governments.

What are the advantages of silos vis-à-vis conventional storage?

Steel silo storage with bulk handling facility is a highly mechanized and scientific way of bulk storage of foodgrains which brings in efficiency, flexibility of operations and prevents losses during storage and transportation. If foodgrains are stored in silos and transported in bulk, losses due to theft, pilferage and transportation would be negligible compared to foodgrains storage in bags in conventional warehouses. The requirement of land for silos is approximately 1/3rd of that required by conventional storage warehouses of same capacity, which is an added advantage. Moreover, silos can be operated round the clock which would bring in flexibility and would improve overall efficiency besides contributing in improving the efficiency of railways as also creating an efficient Food Supply Chain Management System.

What is the total cost that is estimated for constructing silos?

The estimated project cost including land, financing cost and pre-operative expenses for constructing one silo of capacity 50,000 MT in non-VGF mode is approximately Rs 46-48 Cr. The estimated costs for Silo of capacity 50,000 MT capacity in VGF mode and VGF-DEA models are Rs. 42-45 Cr and Rs. 67 Cr respectively.

What are the terms and conditions for construction of silos under various models?

The model wise bid documents containing the terms and conditions are available at link http://fci.gov.in/storages.php?view=33

When should proposals under Central Sector Scheme be sent to this Department?

FCI and State Governments should send proposals about 1 year in advance before the start of next cycle of the scheme.

What documents should State Governments forward with the proposals under Central Sector Scheme?

DPR containing the cost estimates for each project prepared by CPWD/State PWD or other Government Agency, availability and requirement of storage in Performa-A and B which have been sent to various states vide letter No. 01-01/2016-FC-II dated 07.09.2016. Following instructions should be followed for preparing DPRs:-

  • Cost estimates have to be as per CPWD/State PWD schedule of rates and estimates should be prepared by the CPWD/State PWD/other State Government Department. If the estimates are prepared by any PSU or private agency, the same should be authenticated by the State PWD.
  • There should be uniformity in cost estimates for different projects within the State and any abnormal variation should be explained with justification.
  • Certificate of availability of land free from encumbrances for each project is also be furnished by the State Government, in the absence of which no funds will be released by this Department.

Is the Central Sector Scheme operational in all States/UTs?

No, the focus of this Scheme is on North Eastern States. In addition, some other states like Himachal Pradesh, Kerala and Jharkhand are also covered considering the storage gap, response against PEG Scheme and other factors.

Are there any specifications to be followed for godowns constructed under this Scheme?

The godowns should be as per IS Code 16144: 2014.

What is the capacity of godowns that can be constructed under Central Sector Scheme?

The capacity will depend on the storage gap in the particular district. In case of FCI it should be minimum 5000 MT in plain areas and 1670 MT in hilly areas. In case of intermediate godowns constructed by State Government the capacity should be preferably minimum 100 MT.

To whom funds are released under Central Sector Scheme for construction of godowns?

The Government of India releases the funds under this scheme directly to the State Governments as Grant-in-Aid and as equity to FCI for construction of storage godowns.

Who is the nodal agency for construction of godowns under Central Sector Scheme?

FCI is the nodal agency for construction of godowns under this scheme in case funds are released to FCI and the respective State Governments in case the funds are released to them.

Plan Schemes

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Public Grievance

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Information regarding foreign travel of officers & Ministers of Department of Food & P.D.