NEW DELHI: State-run FCI today expressed confidence of successfully meeting challenges of implementing food security ordinance.
The government earlier this month had promulgated an ordinance to guarantee legal right over cheap foodgrains to 67 per cent of population.
"The implementation of the landmark Ordinance will throw a number of challenges such as availability of rice and wheat, financial provisions, manpower requirement and storage and movement of foodgrains. We are fully prepared to meet the challenges and make it a success," FCI Chairman and Managing Director C Viswanath said in a statement.
Food Corporation of India (FCI) procures foodgrains from farmers and distributes the same through ration shops.
At present, the FCI has enough stock to meet the proposed requirement of 61 million tonnes foodgrains under the new food security programme.
As on July 1, FCI had foodgrains stock of 74 million tonnes, while storage capacity was around 75 million tonnes till May this year.
Viswanath said, "We are in process of augmenting additional storage capacity under Private Entrepreneurs Guarantee Scheme. Also, a capacity of two million tonnes is planned in silos."
As for the financial implications, the FCI's working capital is likely to go up to meet the requirements of maintaining the off-take of 61 million tonnes of foodgrains with a buffer reserve of four months, he said.
For implementing such a mammoth scheme, FCI said it has already embarked on a recruitment drive to meet the manpower requirement.
"We have already started a massive recruitment drive through Staff Selection Commission for Category-III level. By this year-end, at least 7000 candidates are expected to join in this category," Viswanath said.
"Similarly, FCI is going to recruit 500 officers in Category-I and II. Also, recruitment of nearly 8600 personnel in Category-IV Watch and ward staff at the regional level is slated by the year-end."
FCI's sanctioned strength at present is 45,451, out of which the actual number of men in position is 26,716 -- a shortfall of 18,735 staffers.
This apart, FCI has stepped up efforts for a better synchronisation with Indian Railways for smooth movement of foodgrains to various parts of the country.