Not a single grain of paddy has been damaged while being stored by the Food Corporation of India (FCI) since 2004, the Centre told the Lok Sabha on Wednesday.

But rice and wheat stocks get affected by natural calamities and some losses have been witnessed during transit.

In a written reply in the Lok Sabha on Wednesday, Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti, Union Minister of State for Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution, said around 1,850 tonnes of rice and wheat got damaged in 2020-21 mainly due to flood in Odisha.

The damaged percentage of foodgrain against the offtakewas at 0.002 per cent in 2021-22 and 0.003 per cent in 2020-21. Foodgrains got damaged mainly due to natural calamities such as cyclone, floods, rains, etc, she said.

Disciplinary action

On the transit losses of foodgrains, the Minister said the cases of transit losses are investigated and actions initiated against the officials found responsible. The number of disciplinary cases initiated against the officials of FCI for unjustified transit losses stood at 153, 114, and 92 during 2018-19, 2019-20, and 2020-21, respectively.

Of the 618.74 lakh tonnes (lt) moved, 1.49 lt of transit loss was witnessed in FCI during 2020-21. Around 0.94 lt of transit loss was witnessed in 409.64 lt moved during 2019-20.

The Minister said real-time monitoring of foodgrains rake from the time of arrival / placement till the time of unloading / release is done through Freight Operations Information System of Indian Railways.

FCI supplies rice and wheat under various schemes to the State governments/Union Territories from Central pool stocks. However, the responsibility of distributing the same to the eligible beneficiaries rests with the State governments and Union Territories.

To a query on the procurement of fair average quality (FAQ) foodgrains from farmers at minimum support price (MSP), the Minister said procurement in a State depends not only upon production but also upon other multiple factors like marketable surplus, MSP, prevailing market rate, demand and supply situation and participation of private traders etc.

State government agencies and FCI purchase wheat and paddy within the stipulated period with prescribed Fair Average Quality (FAQ) specification at MSP for Central pool.

Coarse grains are procured at MSP by State governments as per the procurement plan prepared in consultation with FCI and approved by the Central government, subject to its distribution by the State government under National Food Security Act and other welfare schemes, she added.