IANS

 The Government has announced an increase in the authorized capital of the Food Corporation of India (FCI) from Rs 10,000 crore to Rs 21,000 crore in a major step to bolster the agricultural sector and benefit farmers.

The FCI plays a key role in the country’s food security system, including the procurement of foodgrains at Minimum Support Price (MSP), maintenance of strategic food grain stocks, distribution to state governments and Union Territories (UTs), and stabilisation of food grain prices in the market.

The more than two-time increase in the authorised capital is a significant step towards enhancing the operational capabilities of FCI in fulfilling its mandate effectively, the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution said on Saturday.

To match the gap of fund requirement, FCI resorts to cash credit, short term loans, ways & means advances, An increase of authorised capital and further infusion will reduce the interest burden, reducing the economic cost and ultimately bring down the subsidy of the government as well.

With this infusion of capital, FCI will also embark upon modernising its storage facilities, improving transportation networks, and adopting advanced technologies. These measures are essential not only for reducing post-harvest losses but also for ensuring efficient distribution of foodgrains to consumers, the ministry said.

The Government provides equity to FCI for working capital requirement and for creation of capital assets. FCI is undertaking a comprehensive initiative to create an Integrated IT system, leveraging existing internal systems (FAP, HRMS) and external systems (State procurement portals, CWC/SWC). The E-office implementation has already made FCI a less paper organisation. These initiatives of integrated IT solutions serving as the core operational software for FCI, shall provide a single source of information and streamline functions with a common digital backbone.

As a part of enhancing its efficiency, FCI is executing tasks such as cement roads, roof maintenance, illumination, and weighbridge upgrades, enhancing food security. Purchase of lab equipment and the development of a software platforms for QC labs aim to improve quality checking.

The government's dual commitment to MSP-based procurement and investment in FCI's operational capabilities signifies a collaborative effort towards empowering farmers, fortifying the agricultural sector, and ensuring food security for the nation, according to the ministry’s statement.

(Except for the headline, this story, from a syndicated feed, has not been edited by Odishatv.in staff)

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