ASSOCHAM welcomes report on restructuring FCI
NEW DELHI: ASSOCHAM (Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India) welcomes the High Level Committee report on re-orienting the role & structure of Food Corporation of India (FCI) into an agency for Innovation in Food-grain Management Systems, which shall focus on modernisation, policy reforms and cost efficiencies.
According to a press note released by the body recently, capping of FCI acceptance of procured stocks within the state-wise norms of National Food Security Act (NFSA), measures to make Foodgrain Management System more efficient, decentralisation of procurement in the major public procurement states and ramping up of Negotiable Warehousing Receipts are some far-reaching steps.
Further, the case for direct cash subsidy for fertilisers has been proposed towards judicious usage of inputs by farmers as per soil requirements and towards curbing the subsidy bill. Moreover, unbundling of the corporation, outsourcing of operations to specialised agencies including the private sector, thrust on PPP projects, FDI for grain storage as well as modern silo structures, will pave the way forward for a professional approach.
ASSOCHAM recommends that the following additional steps shall further assist in reforming the Indian agricultural & food security scenario:
>Subsidies rationalisation to be directed towards productive asset creation in rural areas and towards aiding farmers to efficiently connect with markets
> Identification of beneficiaries for direct benefit transfers needs to be transparent
> Lower stocking as per buffer norms along with reduction of state levies and incentives for private participation in the public food system will help contain market aberrations and promote private sector contribution to efficiently aid the government’s efforts to ensure food security for all
> Setting up of strong directional guidance for subsidy rationalisation coupled with GST and APMC regulatory changes shall aid creation of a transparent & efficient national market for foodgrains.
ASSOCHAM is confident that the Committee has taken bold steps including improving public food system efficiency, bringing substantial savings to the exchequer, improving, promoting crop diversification and effectively balancing the farmer & consumers’ needs.