New Delhi: The Government on Tuesday said that
criminal action would be taken against Food Corporation of
India officials in Uttar Pradesh who are responsible for
causing foodgrain wastage by storing it in the open during the
"I have discussed the matter a dozen times with the
authorities concerned, but nothing has been done. I have told
the FCI Chairman and Managing Director that he should
immediately take suspension action. If possible, criminal
action should be taken against the officers concerned," Food
and Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar said.
His comments assume importance amid reports that
thousands of tonnes of wheat was ruined during the rains as
it was kept in open.
"In certain places of Uttar Pradesh, foodgrains are not
kept properly. This is the rainy season and they need to
cover them at least by tarpaulin. But that was not done,"
Wastage of foodgrains is not an unknown phenomenon in
India as the country has insufficient storage capacity to keep
it safe and secure for future use, or utilisation under the
public distribution system for feeding the poor.
The government had procured around 38.7 million tonnes of
wheat and rice in 2006-07, 51.6 million tonnes in 2007-08 and
60.4 million tonnes in 2008-09. During the current year, till
recently, the government has procured 51.3 million tonnes.
The total gap of storage capacity in the country is
estimated to be around 140 lakh tonnes. Sensing that it is not
possible for state agencies to fill the gap by themselves, the
government has invited private parties to invest in the