This pandemic time has seen a shocking level of negligence from the government's side through the loss of 1550 tonnes of food grains in the Food Corporation of India (FCI). It was during April and May when lockdown has been strictly enacted in the country and sufferings followed by this has weakened the country hugely. In the meantime, many migrant labourers got stranded in their working locations and frequent deaths of migrants were reported while shifting to their hometown to evade starving.
According to Ministry of Consumers Affairs data, loss of 26 tonnes of food grains happened in May and 1453 tonnes in June. In July and August, the loss rate was reached up to 41 tonnes and 51 tonnes respectively.
According to the Ministry, Foodgrains were usually stored in FCI in a scientific manner only. Adopting various preservation methods like Fumigation and treatment with pesticides, they were warehoused well with much care. Despite all precautions, a small quantity can turn to unfit for use due to several reasons like Natural Calamities or damages in transit.
Officials also said that whenever any damage of foodgrains was observed, immediate investigation and strict actions will be taken against officers by the concerned authority. Close to 125 officials were found responsible for the damages between the years 2014-2018. Strict actions were already taken against them.
In April this year, The Food and consumer affairs minister Ram Vilas Paswan has said that through scientific ways of storage and distribution the government has succeeded in reducing the wastage of food grains.
"Government has bought 62.3 million tonnes of rice and wheat in the year 2015-2016. Out of which only 3116 tonnes of grains were wasted, which is just 0.005% of the total purchase and In 2016-17, the wastage was only 0.014% of the total purchase of 61 million tonnes, Paswan said. "The wastage for 2017-18 and 2018-19 was only 0.003% and 0.006% respectively. In 2019-20, the government purchased 75.17 million tonnes of foodgrains, out of which only 1930 tonnes were wasted, which is 0.002% of the total procurement," he added.
The phase-1 of the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana which has been already carried out where about 121 LMT of Foodgrains being provided to all belonging states and Union territories for additional free-of-cost distribution to the beneficiaries covered under the National Food Security Act,2013 (NFSA) from April to June 2020.