Patna, 29 June-2014, TNN: Officials of the Food Corporation of India (FCI) and State Food Corporation (SFC) would work jointly for the success of Food Security Act in Bihar. Union food and consumer affairs minister Ram Vilas Paswan held a meeting with Bihar CM Jitan Ram Manjhi at the latter’s 1 Anne Marg residence and discussed the problems related to the implementation of the Act.
Bihar food and consumer protection minister Shyam Rajak, who was also present at the meeting, said the Union minister agreed to allow the SFC to lift 5.44 lakh MT of wheat and paddy for the period of April and May allocated to the state from the Centre for distribution among the poor. The SFC can lift the stock from FCI godowns by August 31, Rajak said.
Rajak said the Union minister was concerned over the shortage of godowns for storage of foodgrains in Bihar and said the Centre would take immediate steps within a week to solve the problem. Its officials would facilitate signing of MOUs between the district magistrates concerned and private warehouses owners.
The Union minister agreed to the state government’s suggestion to transport wheat and rice simultaneously in FCI rakes to facilitate early transportation of the foodgrains to the villages. Earlier, wheat and rice were sent separately by the railways, leading to extra expenditure.
Officials of FCI and SFC would jointly sign MOUs with private weigh bridges near the railway stations for weighing the grain stock received by the railways. The state government had complained to the Centre about underweight stocks in the railway rakes.
According to Rajak, the FCI and SFC officials would also jointly solve the problems of labour agitations at the FCI godowns which delayed transportation of wheat and rice.
The Union minister appreciated the doorstep delivery of grains introduced in Bihar and use of GPS on the trucks carrying grains from FCI godowns to the rural areas, according to Rajak. The Union minister was requested to bear 50% of the transportation cost of Rs 400 crore on carrying wheat and rice, Rajak said.
Last week, Paswan had regretted poor working functioning of public distribution system in the state.