Punitive action has been taken against officials responsible for instances of rotting of foodgrains at various Food Corporation of India [ Images ] godowns, Food and Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar [ Images ] informed the Rajya Sabha on Tuesday.
Replying to a Calling Attention notice on rotting of foodgrains at various FCI godowns, Pawar said foodgrains stock in the Central Pool has increased three-folds since 2006, which has ensured better and remunerative prices to farmers.
"However it has caused a strain on storage capacities with FCI and state government agencies involved in procurement," he said, adding that higher selling price over the last few years coupled with better outreach has led to higher procurement in the last three years.
Recently, there have been reports of damaged foodgrains in godowns of FCI and state agencies in Uttar Pradesh [ Images ], Haryana, Punjab [ Images ], Rajasthan [ Images ] and Uttarakhand [ Images ] due to rain and floods, he said.
"However the quantity damaged must be seen in the perspective of total quantities handled and larger quantities kept in covered and plinth storage because of heavier procurement," Pawar said.
FCI officials found damaged wheat stocks at various storage facilities in UP, Punjab, Haryana and Uttarakhand after inspecting them.
"FCI has initiated disciplinary action against a number of officers in UP and has also suspended eight officers. Some senior officers have been instructed to monitor movement and handling of foodgrain stocks," the minister said.
Teams have been deputed from headquarters and zonal offices of FCI for inspection of storage conditions in the depots, he added.