Piyush Goyal, Union Minister of Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution, Railways, and Commerce & Industry inaugurated the newly constructed building of Divisional Office, Mysuru on the occasion of 57th Foundation day of FCI on 14th January 2021.
The Minister also addressed the officers, staff and workers of Food Corporation of India (FCI) through Facebook Live on the occasion. He lauded the contributions of FCI in supply of foodgrains to approximately 80 crore people of the country to reduce the hardships being faced by the entire populace of the country during the COVID-19 pandemic and ensuring that welfare measures taken by the Government during these testing times reach the needy. He also complimented FCI for the all-time high procurement of Wheat and Paddy. Further, the Minister said that the organisation is not just a government establishment but a committed organisation working in service of the nation and specially, the farmers.
Piyush Goyal, in his address, mentioned that FCI had procured 140 LMT Paddy & 390 LMT Wheat and about 305 LMT additional foodgrains were issued during the pandemic free of cost under Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Ann Yojana (PMGKAY). Most importantly, when PMGKAY was audited through a third party, the satisfaction level was found to be 94%. Under Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s leadership, during the lockdown, food and all essential products were made available to each individual, which in itself is a significant feat.
The Minister also highlighted how a 50% increase in the number of procurement centres has resulted in helping the farmers to efficiently and conveniently sell their produce. While farmers earlier had to travel long distances to reach the Mandis, this time around, the distance was greatly reduced. This led to an increase in farmers’ productivity and reduction in their time and efforts.
The Minister also highlighted the role of FCI in the procurement process and spoke about strengthening procurement through MSP to benefit the farmers. FCI is standing shoulder-to-shoulder with the farmers, encouraging them to increase their production and at the same time, giving them the confidence of adequate procurement through MSP. For the next many years and decades to come, FCI will continue to work in service of the farmers. He also said that FCI is continuously working to make the process easier and more convenient to assist the farmers. Piyush Goyal said that 40-45 lakh farmers had benefited through the procurement of wheat during the Rabi Market Season of 2020-21.
He emphasised that FCI will work with transparency and with a proactive approach and support system in becoming a bridge between the farmers and consumers of the country. He encouraged FCI to be future ready for serving the country by adopting technological advancement of international standard in delivering efficient, transparent and accountable services to the farmers, consumers and other stakeholders, especially the marginalised population of the country. In fulfilling the aspirations of a New India, Minister emphasised the importance of adopting newer technologies and innovations. He stated that freeing the organisation from discretionary powers, presenting the work in the public domain in a transparent manner and focusing on quality production will define FCI and make the facilities even more convenient for the farmers and other stakeholders. He also expressed confidence that FCI shall set the highest standards for itself in serving the nation. FCI’s transformational reforms will go a long way in making the process simpler for farmers and help increase their income. He closed his speech by wishing the whole nation for the ongoing festivities in the country.