Enough food stock buffer to meet needs: FCI

March 31st, 2008 - 9:28 pm ICT by admin  

New Delhi, March 31 (IANS) With inflation in India on the rise and fears growing over possible food shortage, an official agency Monday said enough buffer stocks will be bought to be distributed to the poor and the needy. “I am absolutely sure that we will achieve the target,” Food Corporation of India (FCI) chairman Alok Sinha told reporters here, referring to the target of procuring 15 million tonnes of wheat during the ensuing season.

“The current closing stock of wheat is 5.5 million tonnes as against the buffer stock norm of four million tonnes,” Sinha said, as the agency braced itself for procurement, especially from the two important grain markets of Punjab and Haryana.

In the case of rice, the FCI chairman hopes to have some two million tonnes more than last year by Tuesday, amounting to 22 million tonnes.

The stocks of these two commodities available in government warehouses were 19.2 million tonnes in January against the minimum norm of 20 million tonnes - a sharp decline from 24.4 million tonnes in January 2004.

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