24 September, 2020

A Poverty Of Explanations

A Poverty Of Explanations
The dank alleys of backwater godowns are but a step away from the world of premium global branding. How else can the Food Corporation of India (FCI)— reviled for the poor quality of grain from its rat-infested storage facilities—become the source of grain for packaged premium wheat brands? The procurers include multinational companies with heavily advertised brands. And that’s not all, even grain exporters reportedly source wheat and rice from the corporation.

According to FCI figures, exporters have been provided rice and wheat at close to the price paid by below poverty line (BPL) PDS consumers. For wheat, the exporters have to pay about Rs 4,250 per tonne (Rs 100 more than its BPL price), and rice is made available at Rs 6,000 per tonne (Rs 350 more than BPL price). And this also includes the cost of transporting the grain to the ports! This, despite grains being procured at source from farmers for at least 30 per cent more than what the exporters pay for procurement.

That grain is being picked...



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