FCI godown not used for stocking liquor: Govt
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Last Updated: Friday, April 30, 2010, 13:48
New Delhi: Government Friday said no godown of Food Corporation of India (FCI) was leased out for stocking liquor and the nation's grain buyer had enough storages to stock the commodity.

"I have seen the reports in one of the newspapers about one of the godowns being used for storage of liquor. I have gone into it in great detail. That godown is not controlled by FCI," Food and Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar said replying to a question in the Rajya Sabha.

Besides FCI, godowns are also owned and operated by state governments, Warehousing Corporation of India and state warehousing corporations.

"Entire capacity is not booked by FCI," he said. "It is true that the particular godown (mentioned in news reports) used for storage of liquor does not belong to FCI."

Pawar said unlike most other states where procurement of wheat and rice is done by state agencies and then passed on to FCI, Uttar Pradesh has entrusted the entire task to a state-owned firm.

As FCI is not present at all the mandis where wheat or rice is sold, there have been complaints from the state, he said. "FCI is not able to do (entire procurement in UP)."

Pawar said his ministry was talking to the state government on the issue to seek help of state cooperatives in the procurement.

Satish Chandra Misra (BSP) objected to Pawar's statement and said the Centre cannot blame the state government for its follies.

Minister of State for Food and Consumers Affairs K V Thomas said no FCI godown has been leased out for storage of liquor.

He denied that large quantity of wheat stored in Covered and Plinth (CAP) area have been damaged.

"However, some quantity of wheat kept in CAP storage has become non-issuable (damaged) due to rains, cyclone and natural calamities which are beyond human control," he said.

In 2007-08, 147 tons of wheat valued for Rs 6.73 lakh was damaged, 623 tons valued at Rs 28.50 lakh in 2008-09 and 716 tons worth Rs 32.76 lakh was damaged in 2009-10.


First Published: Friday, April 30, 2010, 13:48

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