In four years the food of 8.23 crore poor got wasted like this- The report of the Parliament’s Standing Committee on Food, Consumer Affairs, and Public Distribution revealed that in the last four years, around 4,11,810 tonnes of wheat and rice were wasted due to movement and theft. This much food grain is equal to the food of 8.23 crore people.
8 crore 23 lakh people could have been filled
The committee’s report tabled in Parliament earlier this month also pointed out that in the last four years till October 2020, an estimated Rs 1109.82 crore has been incurred due to loss of food grains. The committee said that 8 crores 23 lakh people could have been fed with these much-subsidized food grains if it had been distributed properly. Significantly, the Center distributes 5 kg of wheat rice per person at subsidized rates under its Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana. “The government should take significant steps to reduce the loss of movement and storage and save taxpayers money,” the committee said in its report.
The report commented on the state of the country’s food storage and transit infrastructure as well as the Decentralized Procurement Scheme (DCP). Under the DCP, the states themselves procure, store and distribute food grains under the Centre’s Targeted Public Distribution System (TPDS) and other welfare schemes. The objective of the decentralized system of procurement is to ensure that Minimum Support Price (MSP) is given to farmers to accelerate procurement and to encourage procurement in non-traditional states, thereby benefitting local farmers. Along with this, loss and cost of transportation from one place to another will be saved.