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  • Govt to sell additional 30 LT of fooodgrains to APL families

    Published on July 29, 2010

    The government on Wednesday said it will provide an additional 30 lakh tonnes of wheat and rice through ration shops to families above poverty line and export three lakh tonnes of foodgrain to Nepal and Bangladesh.

    Informing decisions of an Empowered Group of Ministers, that met on July 26, Food and Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar said no decisions were taken on allowing exports of superior varieties of non-basmati rice, imposition of import duty on wheat and raising the issue price of sugar sold through ration shops.

    The government had banned export of wheat in early 2007 and of non-basmati rice in April 2008 to boost domestic supply and check rising prices.

    He, however, said that the ministerial panel has approved foodgrains export of one lakh tonnes to Nepal and two lakh tonnes to Bangladesh.

    Asked about additional quantity of foodgrains to APL families, Pawar said: “EGOM has already taken the decision. We have written to the states requesting them to lift as much as six months’ requirement of foodgrain to APL category”.

    Foodgrains will be supplied at APL rates, he added. At present, APL families are getting 10-35 kg of wheat and rice per month at Rs 6.10 per kg and Rs 8.30 per kg, respectively.

    The government, which has nearly 60 million tonnes of foodgrains in its stock against the requirement of 32 million tonnes, is facing storage problem and had been releasing wheat and rice through ration shops and open market sale.

    On lack of storage space, Pawar said, “EGOM has decided to extend the guarantee period to private parties for hiring godowns from seven years to 10 years.” It has also decided to provide godowns the infrastructure status.

    The Food Corporation of India is planning to add 130 lakh tonnes of storage capacity with the help of private parties.

    Asked about his reaction on the Supreme Court’s suggestion that the government should consider discontinuing supply of subsidised grains to APL families and instead restrict it to BPL families only, Pawar said: “The Supreme Court has sought our reaction. We haven’t taken any view”.