New Delhi: The government Tuesday said it requires extra foodgrains storage capacity of 20 million tonnes in the medium term.
"A requirement of 20 million tonnes of storage capacity in the medium term for storing the central stock of foodgrains has been assessed by an expert committee," Food Minister K V Thomas said in a written reply to the Lok Sabha.
At present, nodal agency Food Corporation of India (FCI) has a capacity to store 71.9 million tonnes of foodgrains.
Of which, 53.4 million tonnes of storage space is covered, while the rest 1.84 million tonnes of capacity is open and is called Cover and Plinth (CAP), the data placed before the Parliament showed.
Against the covered storage space, the FCI as on April 1 had 59.7 million tonnes of grains in its godowns.
To augment storage capacity, the minister said private entrepreneurs are encouraged through Private Entrepreneurs Guarantee (PEG) Scheme to construct covered storage capacity in partnership with the government.
Under the (PEG) Scheme, the government has approved for construction of a storage capacity of 19.7 million tonnes as on March 31, this year. Of which, 6.99 million tonnes of capacity has been completed, he said.
To promote construction of modern silos, the government has also approved construction of 2 million tonnes of storage capacity under the PEG scheme, he said.
Further to meet any increased storage requirement, regional and zonal FCI managers have been given full powers for hiring of godowns for short terms usage to store the procured foodgrains as per their requirement, he added.
Io a separate query on storage, Thomas said the Centre has finalised a plan scheme especially for North East for creation of an additional storage capacity of 5,40,000 tonnes through the FCI in the next 3-4 years.
On supply of sacks for wheat procurement, Thomas said 80,334 bales of jute bags and 78,925 bales of HDPE/PP bags have been supplied to the FCI in various states.