New Delhi, Oct 10 (UNI) Notwithstanding the hue and cry over the shortage of food in the country necessitating importing of wheat, grains stocks with the government's nodal agency, Food Corporation of India (FCI), are only six lakh tonnes less than buffer norms requiring availability of stocks at 162 lakh tonnes on October 1.
The stocks of wheat and rice are 100.79 and 54.89 lakh tonnes respectively as on October 1 this year.
Arrival of paddy in markets and consequent procurement by FCI is expected to pick up with the announcement of bonus of Rs 50 per quintal yesterday, FCI CMD Alok Sinha said here today.
The paddy arrival in markets at present is around three-four lakh tonnes and is expected to pick up up to five lakh tonnes daily.
The estimated purchase of paddy in 15 states during the current Kharif marketing season at the minimum support price (MSP) of Rs 645 per quintal for common and Rs 675 for Grade-A is estimated at 255 lakh tonnes, while estimated purchase in terms of rice including levy and custom-milled rice is 276 lakh tonnes.
The purchases in Punjab and Haryana, commenced from September 26, are in full swing and the government agencies have purchased 29.43 lakh tonnes, against the arrival of 42.17 lakh tonnes in the mandies.
Mr Sinha said the storage losses are the lowest by the international standards and expected to bring it down to 0.36 per cent this year as against 0.40 per cent at present.
FCI CMD said continuous monitoring and vigilance of the stocks are conducted to maintain the quality.