Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh and Andhra Pradesh are the three States in the country which have already started e-procurement of food grains, the Central Government has informed. The online procurement system would also be integrated into the Food Corporation of India’s ‘Depot Online System’ soon, they informed.

Notably, Chhattisgarh is already among 15 states in the country with a completely decentralised system for procurement of paddy and wheat under Centre’s ‘Decentralised Procurement Scheme (DCP)’.

The Central Government has started encouraging the State Governments to adopt decentralised procurement system for wheat, paddy and rice.  Under Decentralised Procurement Scheme (DCP), food grains is procured and distributed by the State Governments themselves, officials stated.

Under this scheme, the designated DCP States procure, store and issue foodgrains under Targetted Public Distribution System (TPDS) and other welfare schemes of the Government of India. The decentralised system of procurement has the objectives to ensure that Minimum Support Price(MSP) is passed on to the farmers, to enhance the efficiency of procurement and to encourage procurement in non-traditional States, thereby extending the benefits of MSP to local farmers as well as to save on transit losses and costs.

This also enables procurement of foodgrains more suited to local taste for distribution under the TPDS.

The Food Corporation of India will accept only the surplus food grains after deducting the needs of the states, from these State Governments (not millers) which require to be moved to deficit states, the Central Government had informed earlier.

State Governments procure foodgrains on behalf of Central Government.  The procured foodgrains are distributed by them directly under TPDS and Welfare Schemes to the extent of allocation approved by the Central Government and surplus quantity,  if any, is handed over to FCI. Any deficit is also met by FCI.

Thus Government meets its commitment towards food based Welfare Scheme under DCP System.

 Chhattisgarh is also among only six other states in the country out of 36 states and union territories which have its supply-chain management system under Public Distribution System (PDS) completely digitized so far, officials stated.

With a view to modernizing the Targetted Public Distribution System (TPDS) the Central Government has initiated a plan scheme on ‘End-to-end Computerisation of TPDS Operations’ on cost sharing basis with the States/UTs.

The scheme comprises activities, namely, digitisation of ration cards/beneficiary and other databases, computerisation of supply-chain management, setting up of transparency portals, FPS automation etc.

Notably, the FCI has decided to develop an online procurement system for registration of farmers and procurement of foodgrains.

This system will send alerts through short message service (SMS) to the registered farmers on date of procurement, location of procurement center, weight of foodgrains procured and details of online payment made to the farmer for his procured foodgrains.

Thus, the system will enable FCI to track payment to farmers and bring transparency in grain procurement.

Source: The Pioneer

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