(2) Free Food Grains worth Rs 2507 crores to Karnataka
Food Corporation of India, Karnataka region is meeting the food grain requirements of the state for public distribution. Karnataka is the leading rice receiving state at national level with rice being received from Punjab, Haryana and Andhra Pradesh. From the start of lock down, FCI has inducted 11 lakh tonnes of food grains through 405 train loads and further issued 11.80 lakh tonnes to the state government under all schemes. This is inclusive of 6 lakh tonnes of free food grains worth Rs 2340 Crores under PMGKAY alone. In addition, the GOI is also issuing free food grains to the state worth Rs 156 Crores (40000 MT) for distribution to the migrant labour in view of the COVID pandemic. The state government has so far lifted Rs 2373 Crores worth free food grains from FCI across the state. In addition FCI has also supplied food grains of 3.83 lakh tonnes under NFSA, 1.20 lakh tonnes under open sale and 41000 tonnes to additional state beneficiaries. The record induction and issue of food grains especially under lockdown conditions was done by direct deliveries from wagons, continuous working on all days, extended working hours, attaching additional staff to the depots/offices and maintaining regular sanitisation and safety measures.
Shri D.V.Prasad, CMD, FCI has stated that FCI is fully geared up to meet the requirements of the state and in Karnataka alone, FCI has handled 4.54 crore bags since lockdown which is unprecedented and more than double the normal operations. At national level, FCI has 734.71 lakh tonnes of foodgrains including 271.12 lakh tonnes rice and 463.59 lakh tonnes wheat as on 25th May 2020. Despite lockdown, COVID scare and other impediments created due to spread of coronavirus, the procurement of wheat by government agencies during this Rabi Crop has already crossed last year’s figures and stands at 341.56 lakh tonnes as on 25th May 2020. Similarly FCI through Railways has been able to meet the requirements of all consuming states by making available adequate quantity of food grains without any complaints.