New Delhi: The government today 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".