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FCI Owes Rs 3,500 Cr To Odisha, Government Reeling Under Loan

24 December 2017

Soumya Ranjan Sahoo

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Bhubaneswar: The Food Corporation of India (FCI) is delaying payment of dues to the tune of a whopping Rs 3,500 crore to the State Government for purchase of custom milling of rice (CMR).

A letter from the Odisha State Civil Supplies Corporation (OSCSC) to FCI revealed that the latter has not settled bills of 16 lakh metric tonnes (MT) CMR deposited by the State Government in the Central pool.

In the letter, Managing Director of OSCSC, Niranjan Nayak has sought an immediate appointment with FCI officials to discuss the aforementioned matter and other relevant issues pertaining to CMR transaction.

As per the MoU signed in June 2016, the documents related to CMR transaction will be issued within three days of delivery and bills would be settled over the next five days. However, there has been an ‘abnormal’ delay in the 2016-17 Kharif market season (KMS), the letter stated.

On an average Odisha produces 39 to 40 lakh MT rice annually, out of which 20 lakh MT CMR is distributed under Antaodya, Annapurna schemes, Food Security Act and in various schools and hostels across the State. The remaining 19 to 20 lakh MT CMR is sold to FCI for being supplied to other States, Food Supplies and Consumer Welfare Minister, Surya Narayan Patro informed.

“As the money to purchase paddy from farmers and other agencies is not sourced from the Budget, the State Government takes huge loans from banks and other institutions. It is the responsibility of the Central Government to expedite payment in compliance with the MoU signed with FCI,” Patro said.

A case in reference could be the pending dues of FCI Sambalpur, which has to pay Rs 95.68 to OSCSC till December 18, 2017. The State Government has agreed upon a daily cash limit of Rs 5 crore, by which the backlog is expected to be cleared within 20 days.

FCI was established under the Food Corporation Act, 1964, to implement the food policies of the Indian Government. FCI is fully-owned by GoI, having paid up capital of Rs 2,830.49 crore.

“So far, the OSCSC has been pursuing the matter and if required we will apprise the Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution Ministry about the irregularities of FCI,” Patro added.

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Surya Narayan Patro, Food Supplies and Consumer Welfare Minister