Bengaluru: Union Food Minister Ram Vilas Paswan Monday said state-run Food Corporation of India (FCI) should conduct regular inspections of its stock to ensure that quality grains are supplied through ration shops. FCI is the government’s nodal agency that procures foodgrains at the support price and distributes them through ration shops under various welfare schemes.
Addressing the inter-session consultative committee meeting here, Paswan said FCI officials should make all possible efforts to ensure farmers get the minimum support price (MSP).
He said procurement has been steadily increasing every year and new records are being set. However, the agency should conduct regular inspections of all its stock to ensure quality product is delivered to the final consumer.
On storage, the minister enquired about the progress being made by various state governments to build godowns and silos for ensuring proper storage facility.
“The committee was informed that state governments often face difficulties in land acquisition for godowns due to the pre-requisite of being near railway lines,” the minister said in a statement.
In the meeting, a suggestion was made to have differential rates for different states for godowns because the rent rates and land rates often have huge variations.
On recruitment by FCI, Paswan said a total of 6,209 recruitments have been done since 2015 and over 4,000 new vacancies will be notified shortly.
He also mentioned that a provision should be made for providing reservation to economically weaker sections.
A decision was also taken regarding change in the nomenclature from district office to divisional office as it causes confusion.
“162 district offices of FCI will now be rechristened as divisional offices with immediate effect,” the statement added.
Reviewing the functioning of the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS), the committee suggested that consumers should be given good quality, adulteration-free products and tougher provisions should be made for punishing adulterators as it has an adverse effect on health of the consumers.
Officials of BIS briefed the committee on several new initiatives, such as digitisation of various activities of the Bureau, online approval of licences, and its future plans to utilise surplus funds towards construction of more field offices and new labs, among others.
Paswan also inaugurated a new branch office of BIS in Hubli district of Karnataka.