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Frequently Asked Questions

Procurement of food grains

What is the existing Policy of food grains Procurement?

The Central Government extends price support to paddy, coarse grains and wheat through the Food Corporation of India and the State Agencies. All the food grains conforming to the prescribed specifications i.e. Fair Average Quality norms offered for sale at specified centers are bought by the public procurement agencies. The producers have the option to sell their produce to FCI/State Agencies at support prices or in the open market as is advantageous to them. The procurement policy is open ended and no targets, as such, are fixed for the procurement of food grains.

How is the Procurement of rice undertaken under levy system?

Rice is collected by way of statutory levy on rice millers and rice dealers. The percentage of levy rice is fixed by State Governments with the approval of Central Government taking into account requirements for the Central Pool, domestic consumption and marketable surplus. The levy percentage varies from State to State. Prices of levy rice are fixed before commencement of every Kharif Marketing Season.

What is the Scheme of Decentralized Procurement(DCP) of food grains?

ThThe scheme of Decentralized Procurement of food grains was introduced by the Government in 1997-98 with a view to enhancing the efficiency of procurement and PDS and encouraging local procurement to the maximum extent thereby extending the benefits of MSP to local farmers as well as to save on transit costs. This also enables procurement of food grains more suited to the local taste.

Under the decentralized procurement scheme, the State Government itself undertakes direct purchase of paddy and wheat and procurement of levy rice on behalf of Government of India. Purchase centres are opened by the State Governments and their agencies as per their requirements. The State Governments procure, store and distribute food grains under TPDS and other welfare schemes. In the event of the total quantity of wheat and rice thus procured falling short of the total allocation made by the Central Government for meeting the requirement of TPDS and other schemes, the Central Government, through FCI, meets the deficit out of the Central Pool stocks.

The Central Government undertakes to meet the entire expenditure incurred by the State Governments on the procurement operations as per the approved costing. The Central Government also monitors the quality of food grains procured under the scheme and reviews the arrangements made to ensure that the procurement operations are carried on smoothly.

Targeted Public Distribution System (TPDS)

What is the Targeted Public Distribution System? What are the various entitlements being given under the scheme?

In June 1997, the Government of India launched the Targeted Public Distribution System (TPDS) with focus on the poor.

  • TPDS is operated under the joint responsibility of Central Government and State/Union Territory (UT) Governments. The Central Government is responsible for procurement, allocation and transportation of food grains up to the designated depots of the Food Corporation of India. The operational responsibilities for lifting and distributing the allocated food grains within the States/UTs, identification of eligible Below Poverty Line (BPL) families, issuance of ration cards to them and supervision over distribution of allocated food grains to eligible card holders through the fair price shops are that of the State/UT Governments.
  • Government of India has been making allocations of food grains to Below Poverty Line (BPL) families under Targeted Public Distribution System (TPDS) on the basis of 1993-94 poverty estimates of Planning Commission and March 2000 population estimates of Registrar General of India or the number of such families actually identified and ration cards issued to them by the State/UT Governments, whichever is less. Government of India has been making allocation of subsidized food grains for all the accepted number of 6.52 crore BPL families including about 2.42 crore Antyodaya Anna Yojana (AAY) families @ 35 kg per family per month. Allocation of subsidized food grains are also made to Above Poverty Line (APL) families based on the availability of food grains in the Central pool and past offtake. Presently, the allocation of food grains to APL families to the States/UTs range between 15 kg. and 35 kg. per family per month. However, these allocations will change under the National Food Security Act (NFSA), 2013, details of which may be seen under the FAQs relating to NFSA, 2013.
  • Further, Government makes allocation of food grains for other welfare schemes such as Midday Meal Scheme and Wheat Based Nutrition Programme under ICDS, Nutritional Programme for Adolescent Girls, Annapurna Scheme and Emergency Feeding Programme, etc. Govt. also makes additional allocation of food grains from time to time depending upon the availability of food grains in stocks and requirements/requests received from the State/UT Governments.

What is the AAY scheme? What are the estimated number of AAY families and the number of AAY families identified & ration cards issued in the States and UTs ?

  • In order to make Targeted Public Distribution System (TPDS) more focused and targeted, the "Antyodaya Anna Yojana” (AAY) was launched in December, 2000 for one crore poorest of the poor families. Since then the scheme has been expanded thrice. The first expansion took place on 5th June, 2003, second expansion on 3rd August, 2004 and third expansion on 12th May 2005, increasing the number of families by 50 lakh at each expansion, thus raising the total coverage of AAY families to 2.50 crore.
  • AAY contemplated identification of one crore poorest of the poor families from amongst the number of BPL families covered under TPDS within the States/UT and providing them food grains at a highly subsidized rate of Rs.2/ per kg. for wheat and Rs. 3/ per kg for rice. The States/UTs are required to bear the distribution cost, including margin to dealers and retailers as well as the transportation cost. Thus the entire food subsidy is being passed on to the consumers under the scheme. The scale of issue that was initially 25 kg per family per month has been increased to 35 kg per family per month with effect from 1st April, 2002.
  • The identification of the Antyodaya families and issue of distinctive ration cards to these families is the responsibility of the concerned State Governments. Guidelines were issued to the States/UTs for identification of the poorest of the poor families as Antyodaya families and additional Antyodaya families under the expanded AAY.
  • The focus on the following groups has been enshrined in the scheme guidelines:
    • Landless agriculture laborers, marginal farmers, rural artisans/craftsmen such as potters, tanners, weavers, blacksmiths, carpenters, slum dwellers, and persons earning their livelihood on daily basis in the informal sector like porters, coolies, rickshaw pullers, hand cart pullers, fruit and flower sellers, snake charmers, rag pickers, cobblers, destitute and other similar categories in both rural and urban areas.
    • Households headed by widows or terminally ill persons/disabled persons/ persons aged 60 years or more with no assured means of subsistence or societal support.
    • Widows or terminally ill persons or disabled persons or persons aged 60 years or more or single women or single men with no family or societal support or assured means of subsistence.
    • All primitive tribal households.
  • The above guidelines have further been amended to include all eligible BPL families of HIV positive persons in the AAY list on priority against the criteria mentioned in the guidelines for identification of families under AAY within respective ceilings on numbers of AAY families communicated by this Department.
  • Up to 2.50 crore families may be covered under the scheme. However, as on 30.09.2014, so far 2.42 crore families have been issued AAY cards by the States/UTs.

What is the procedure for obtaining BPL/AAY/APL ration card?

Targeted Public Distribution System (TPDS) is operated under the joint responsibility of the Central and the State/Union Territory (UT) Governments. Central Government is responsible for procurement, allocation and transportation of food grains up to the designated depots of the Food Corporation of India. The operational responsibility for allocation and distribution of food grains within the States/UTs, identification of eligible Below Poverty Line (BPL) families, issuance of ration cards to them and supervision over and monitoring of functioning of Fair Price Shops (FPSs) rests with the concerned State/UT Government. In view of the above, as this Department does not issue BPL/AAY/APL ration card, for this purpose an individual may approach the Food and Civil Supplies office of the concerned State/UT.

Under National Food Security Act (NFSA), 2013, coverage under TPDS has been delinked from poverty estimates. The coverage of 75% and 50% of the rural and urban population respectively prescribed under the Act is substantially above the poverty estimates. Subject to coverage determined for each State/UT, the State Government or UT Administrations are required to identify the eligible households and issue ration cards to them. Thus, States/UTs will issue ration cards to the eligible households covered under the Priority Households and Antyodaya Anna Yojana (AAY).

How much quantity of Wheat and Rice are admissible for a BPL/AAY Cardholder and at what price?

Allocation of food grains (rice and wheat) is made by Central Government under Targeted Public Distribution System(TPDS) @ 35 kg. per family per month for Below Poverty Line (BPL) families including Antyodaya Anna Yojana (AAY) families in the country. Allocations of food grains for Above Poverty Line (APL) families are made depending upon availability of food grain stocks in the Central Pool and past offtake by the State/UT. The allocations for APL families in States/UTs range between 15 to 35 kg per family per month.

The Central Issue Price(CIP) of food grains being supplied under TPDS is as under:-

(figure in Rs. per kg)

Commodity APL BPL AAY
Rice 8.30
(Grade ‘A’)
- -
- 7.95
5.65 3.00
Wheat 6.10 4.15 2.00
Coarse grains 4.50 3.00 1.50

However, under NFSA 2013, the APL and BPL categories have been done away with and instead, only, eligible households i.e. priority households and the households covered under the AAY shall be entitled to receive food grains under TPDS i.e. rice, wheat and coarse grains @ Rs 3/-, 2/- and Rs. 1/- per kg respectively. The entitlements of priority households shall be @ 5 kg per person per month and the AAY families will get 35 kg per family per month.

What is the grievance redressal mechanism available for the beneficiaries of TPDS?

The operational responsibility for allocation and distribution of food grains within the States/UTs, identification of eligible Below Poverty Line (BPL) families, issuance of ration cards to them and supervision over and monitoring of functioning of Fair Price Shops (FPSs) rests with the concerned State/UT Government. Therefore, as and when complaints are received in the Department from individuals and organizations as well as through press reports, they are sent to State/UT Governments concerned for inquiry and appropriate action. In case of any grievance relating to the above- referred aspects, the Food & Civil Supplies authorities of the State/UT concerned may be approached.

Further, some States/UTs have established toll free Helpline numbers for redressal and registration of grievances under TPDS. A list of the toll free and other Helpline numbers reported to be established in the States/UTs is enclosed as per Annexure.

NFSA, 2013 also provides for a two tier grievance redressal mechanism comprising of District Grievance Redressal Officer (DGRO) at the District level and State Food Commission (SFC) at the State level.


List of Toll-free Helplines for TPDS in States/UTs (as on 28.10.2014)

Sr. No. State / UT 4-digit 1800 series Other number
1 Andaman and Nicobar Islands 1967 - -
2 Andhra Pradesh 1967 1800-425-2977
3 Arunachal Pradesh 1967 - -
4 Assam - 1800-345-3611 -
5 Bihar - 1800-3456-194 -
6 Chandigarh 1967 1800-180-2068 -
7 Chhattisgarh 1967 1800-233-3663 -
8 Dadra and Nagar Haveli - 1800-233-4004 -
9 Daman and Diu - - -
10 Delhi 1967 1800-11-0841 -
11 Goa - 1800-233-0022 -
12 Gujarat 1967 1800-233-5500 -
13 Haryana 1967 1800-180-2090
14 Himachal Pradesh - 1800-180-8026 -
15 Jammu and Kashmir 1967 1800-180-7011 -
16 Jharkhand - - -
17 Karnataka 1967 1800-425-9339 -
18 Kerala 1967 1800-425-1550 -
19 Lakshadweep - - -
20 Madhya Pradesh 1967 - 155343
21 Maharashtra 1967 1800-22-4950 -
22 Manipur 1967 1800-345-3821 -
23 Meghalaya 1967 1800-345-3644 -
24 Mizoram 1967 1800-345-3891 -
25 Nagaland 1800-345-3704
26 Orissa - 1800-345-6770 155335
27 Puducherry - - -
28 Punjab - - -
29 Rajasthan - 1800-180-6030
30 Sikkim 1967 1800-345-3236 -
31 Tamil Nadu - - (044) 2859-2828
32 Telangana 1967 - -
33 Tripura - - -
34 Uttar Pradesh 1967 1800-180-0150 -
35 Uttarakhand - - -
36 West Bengal 1967 1800-345-5505 -

What measures have been taken to improve the PDS in the Country?

Strengthening and streamlining of TPDS is a continuous process. Central Government has regularly reviewed and issue instructions from time to time to States/Union Territories to strengthen functioning of Targeted Public Distribution System (TPDS) by improving monitoring mechanism and vigilance, increased transparency in functioning of TPDS, adoption of revised Model Citizen’s Charter, use of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) tools and to improve the efficiency of Fair Price Shop operations. A Nine Point Action Plan is also under implementation since July2006 for monitoring the functioning of TPDS in States/UTs.

Moreover, Section 12 of NFSA, 2013 stipulates that (1) The Central and State Governments shall endeavor to progressively undertake necessary reforms in the Targeted Public Distribution System in consonance with the role envisaged for them in the Act. The reforms shall, inter alia, include—

  • doorstep delivery of food grains to the TPDS outlets;
  • application of information and communication technology tools including end-to-end computerisation in order to ensure transparent recording of transactions at all levels, and to prevent diversion;
  • leveraging ''Aadhaar'' for unique identification, with biometric information of entitled beneficiaries for proper targeting of benefits under this Act;
  • preference to public institutions or public bodies such as Panchayats, self help groups, co-operatives, in licensing of fair price shops and management of fair price shops by women or their collectives;
  • diversification of commodities distributed under the Public Distribution System over a period of time;
  • support to local public distribution models and grains banks;
  • introducing schemes, such as, cash transfer, food coupons, or other schemes, to the targeted beneficiaries in lieu of their food grain entitlements specified in Chapter II, in such area and manner as may be prescribed by the Central Government.

Whether Government of India is undertaking any program for strengthening and upgrading the skills of personnel engaged in the functioning and implementation of TPDS.

Department of Food & Public Distribution, Government of India is implementing a scheme component called TPDS- Training. This aims at strengthening and upgrading the skills of personnel engaged in the functioning and implementation of TPDS by conducting training programs and organizing lectures, seminars and workshops on policy issues with regard to TPDS and related fields for functionaries of various levels in the State Food and Civil Supplies Department and State Agencies like State Civil Supplies Corporations, etc. To make TPDS more effective & efficient, training is also provided to FPS owners, members of PRIs and Urban Local Bodies and members of Vigilance Committees at various levels, engaged in TPDS. In order to successfully implement National Food Security Act (NFSA), 2013, training programs are also being organized under the scheme to sensitize and train key official of the State/UT Governments, FCI, Master Trainers nominated by States/UTs, etc through FCI or other agency.

Central Government provides financial assistance to the State/UT Governments for conducting training programs @ Rs.500/- per person per day. The maximum duration of the training program may be five working days and the maximum assistance per training program would be Rs.50,000/-. In the case of Seminars/Workshops the duration is two days. The financial assistance for conducting Seminars/Workshops is also Rs.500/- per person per day and the maximum assistance per Seminar/Workshop would be Rs.50,000/-.

What is the provision for giving commission/margin to the FPS dealers/owners for distribution of food grains by them under TPDS?

Public Distribution System (Control) Order, 2001 mandates the States/UT Governments to issue licenses to Fair Price Shops owners, monitor their operations and take all required action to ensure smooth functioning of TPDS. The State/UT Governments have been given flexibility in the matter of fixing the margin for the fair price shops. This is, however, not to apply to distribution of food grains under Antyodaya Anna Yojana where end retail price is to be retained at Rs.2 a kg for wheat and Rs.3 a kg for rice. The issue prices of food grains at Fair Price Shops are fixed by the State/UT Governments keeping into consideration the transport and handling charges, margin to be paid to the fair price shops owners, etc.


Is there any scheme/project of Government of India on computerisation of TPDS?

Government has initiated implementation of Component-I of the scheme for ‘End-to-end Computerisation of TPDS Operations’, which comprises digitization of ration cards/beneficiary and other databases, computerization of supply-chain management and setting up of transparency portal and grievance redressal mechanisms.

Component-I of the Plan Scheme was approved in October 2012 by the Government for implementation in all States/UTs on cost-sharing basis under the 12th Five Year Plan (2012-17) at a total cost of Rs.884.07 crore, out of which Government of India’s share is Rs. 489.37 crore and States/UTs share is Rs. 394.70 crore. In addition to the financial support, Central Government is also providing requisite technical support through NIC to the States/UTs as per their requirements.

What are the aims and objectives of the scheme 'End-to-end Computerization of TPDS Operations' in the country?

Computerization of TPDS operations has been taken up with the aim to improve the efficiency of the current system and to address various challenges such as leakages and diversion of food grains, fake and bogus ration cards, lack of transparency and weak grievance redressal mechanisms

What are the details regarding various components of the scheme?

Component-I of the Scheme on End-to-end Computerisation of TPDS Operations comprises following four key activities:

  • Digitisation of Beneficiary Database
    • Availability of beneficiary information in electronic form.
    • Ration card services like addition / deletion/ modification available online through F&CS offices, service centres, kiosks, etc.
    • SMS alerts automatically generated for ration card related requests
    • Validation and de-duplication of data. Databases of Aadhaar, NPR, SECC, electoral data, etc. can also be used to compare data.
  • Digitisation of Other databases
    • Digitized information created regarding F&CS offices, wholesalers, FPSs, Godowns, etc.
    • Hosting of databases on State portals without restrictions on public access
  • Computerisation of Supply Chain Management
    • Online allocation orders to be generated based on State allocation policy and beneficiary data
    • District/ FPS wise allocation order to be put on State portal and also sent online to FCI, district F&CS offices etc.
    • Movement from FCI - State Godowns - FPS
    • Online generation of release order/truck challans/ delivery orders.
    • Commodity lifting information to be put on web-site
    • SMS alerts to all concerned upon dispatch/ receipt of food grains
    • Stock position at godowns to be available online
  • Grievance Redressal mechanisms and Transparency Portal
    • A common number ‘1967’ and 1800 series toll-free number for grievance registration & redressal to be set up in States
    • Beneficiaries to get SMS based acknowledgement of their complaint, its resolution, etc.
    • Facility to track grievances and ascertain status through online mechanism
    • Setting up Transparency Portal at State/UT and National level which have all TPDS related information in the public domain.

    Component-II of the scheme, covering FPS automation:

    In consultation with NIC, Department of Electronics & Information Technology (DeitY) and Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), this Department has prepared guidelines for Fair Price Shop (FPS) automation, which were sent to all States/UTs on 11.11.2014. FPS automation involves, installation of Point of Sale (PoS) devices at FPS for authentication of beneficiaries, recording of sales to beneficiaries at the FPS; and uploading of transaction data in central server. As per the said guidelines, NIC is entrusted to develop software for PoS device and overall solution. This Department has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with STQC Directorate (attached office of DeitY) on 07.01.2015 for testing of PoS device. As regards financial assistance, Government has approved FPS dealers’ margins (@ Rs. 87/QTL.) under NFSA which also includes reimbursement of Rs. 17/QTL. for their expenditure towards purchase and operations of the PoS/Mobile Tablet device at the FPS for automation.

Are there any guidelines for implementation of the scheme?

Keeping in view requests received from the States/UTs for clarification on various aspects of the scheme and also with a view to provide a comprehensive way forward for its implementation, a need was felt for detailed guidelines for implementation of the scheme. Accordingly, the Department in consultation with NIC has prepared the Implementation Guidelines for use of Food and Civil Supplies Departments of States/UTs. Draft guidelines were circulated to all States/UTs in June 2013 for their views/comments and the finalised Guidelines were thereafter issued in September 2013.A copy of the Guidelines is available at National PDS Portal.

Are there any timelines for implementation of the scheme?

States/UTs had been asked to complete the following activities as per the timelines indicated against them:

  • Digitisation of beneficiary database - March 2013
  • Computerisation of supply-chain - October 2013.

However, the progress among States has been slow and uneven due to delay in finalisation of action plans by States, late submission of their financial proposals, practical problems faced during implementation, etc. The progress in States/UTs is being monitored closely by the Department and the NIC for ensuring expeditious completion of the project.

What is the role of National Informatics Centre (NIC) under the scheme?

National Informatics Centre (NIC) is the technology partner and the Implementation Agency for Centre i.e. the D/o Food & Public Distribution (DoF&PD). NIC will provide the application software (s) for Centre & States/UTs under this Scheme. NIC would carry out the configuration/customisation of the application software for meeting the requirements of the respective State/UT and also facilitate its roll-out in States/UTs in a time bound manner. NIC would also provide training to State F&CS Officers/staff on the technology solution for TPDS Computerisation.

Can States/UTsdevelop their own application software for implementing the scheme?

States / UTs may choose NIC as their technology solution partner or any other agency for end-to-end computerisation of TPDS including implementation of the project or choose NIC application modules / services in whole or in part as per their requirements.

Can State/UTs hire System Integrators?

The States/UTs have the option to either undertake the implementation themselves, or through NIC or hire System Integrators (SIs) for rolling out the technology solution at State level. Such SIs shall be selected though open bid process by the respective States / UTs. The detailed scope of SI’s work would be defined by the States/UTs in consultation with NIC. Well defined Service Level Agreements (SLAs) with clearly identified deliverables and timelines are to be prepared by each State/UT.

What is the transparency portal for TPDS?

All States/UTs have been asked to develop a single transparency portal which should have all TPDS related data and information available for public view without restriction on access and the same should be widely publicized. The transparency portal would host information in public domain, such as lists of beneficiaries, FPSs, Storage godowns / depots, F&CS offices / officers, monthly allocation, actual off-take, etc. The content on the portal must be in the local language of the State/UT as well as in English wherever possible. Information about availability of food grains will also be disseminated through SMS / email to the registered beneficiaries and other registered individuals in the local community.NIC has prepared various reporting formats, which could be adopted by States/UTs for hosting the TPDS related MIS reports/details on their portals. A copy of the same was sent to all States/UTs by the Department on 11.09.2012.

Under the scheme, States/UTs are developing their respective TPDS web portals. Besides, this Department has also launched a National PDS Portal. The objective of the National portal is to provide TPDS related information pertaining to all States/UTs through a single platform in the public domain. All States/UTs have been requested to maintain and update the data on the National portal through application software and also provide links to their State TPDS portals’ data using web-services.

How will computerisation help in grievance redressal?

Toll-free Helpline numbers are to be set up by each State/UT for grievance registration and redressal. This number would be widely publicized throughout the State/UT. The provision of registration, receipt of acknowledgement and tracking of public grievances would also be available on transparency portal. A dedicated call centre is to be deployed by the States/UTs for addressing the grievances of the individuals. This Department has issued guidelines on 31.01.2013 for setting up of 4-digit common toll free Helpline number ‘1967’ across the country and an1800 series toll-free number in all States/UTs.


What type of complaints/issues to be referred to Vigilance Department?

Complaints regarding corrupt practices (demanding or acceptances of bribe)/misuse of official position for private gain/doubtful integrity and cases involving a Vigilance angle against the officials of the department and also board level officials of FCI and CWC.

How many RTI request received during a particular year/ period and how many have been disposed of?

A CIC Annual Report as well as CIC Quarterly Report showing the RTI applications and its disposal is posted on the website of this Department.

How to register the complaints to Vigilance Division?

Online complaints may be registered to the Vigilance Division / attaching the documentary proof as PDF file, if any you can also send an e-mail tojsstg[dot]fpd[at]nic[dot]in .

Source of Information / Verbal complaints can be reported to the phone numbers which is given on the "Contact Us” of the Department’s Website.

Written complaints with supporting documents can be also be sent to the following address:

The Chief Vigilance Officer
Department of Food & Public Distribution
Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution
Krishi Bhawan, New Delhi - 110001

Whether all complaints received are considered/processed by the Vigilance Division?

Yes, all genuine complaints received are examined by the Vigilance Division/CVO and ordered for verification/detailed investigation/administrative action/for filing as deemed fit.

How the anonymous/pseudonymous complaints are dealt?

As per CVC’s guidelines no action is taken on anonymous/pseudonymous complaints. However they must just be filed.


What is the import export policy of India regarding food grains?

Import of food grains in the country is allowed and there is no restrictions at present.Export of wheat and non-Basmati rice by private exporters under "Free Export” category has been permitted with effect from 9-9-2011. Export of limited quantities of wheat from Central Pool stocks has also been permitted during 2012-13 and 2013-14.

Does India have policy of unrestricted exports of food grains?

The import export policy in respect of food grains is basically subservient to the main policy of first ensuring national food security.

To which countries India is exporting food grains by way of humanitarian aid and how much has been exported so far?

In the recent years, Government of India has allowed export of wheat to Afghanistan and non-Basmati rice to the Republic of Yemen on diplomatic/humanitarian aid basis. While delivery of 2447.702 MTs of rice to the Republic of Yemen through WFP has been completed during 2012-13, a quantity of 2.50 lakh tons of wheat has been allowed for export to Afghanistan as donation in 2011-12, out of which 1.00 lakh tons were delivered during 2012-13. The balance quantity of 1.50 lakh tons has been delivered during the current year by February,2014.


What is the mechanism in place to monitor the movement of food grains across the country?

The movement of food grains for Public Distribution System and other schemes from surplus region to deficient areas Vis-a-vis storage capacity, procurement, stocks, allocations and off-take is closely monitored by this Department regularly in co-ordination with FCI and Railways. Optimum evacuation of food grains from the procuring regions and induction and stocking of food grains in the North-Eastern States, Jammu & Kashmir and other areas, identified from time to time, is specially monitored.

Whether the Department consults FCI and the Railways authorities with regard to movement of food grains?

The Department takes up the matter with Railway authorities in case shortfall in food grain stocks is reported in any State and co-ordinates for providing additional rakes to augment the food grain stock in that State.

How is movement of food grains planned?

Movement of food grain is planned on monthly basis by FCI after proper analysis of information on stock position, offtake and vacant space in the depots collected from all over India before the start of the succeeding month..


How is monitoring and control over the performance of the schemes/programs for creation of storage capacity being done. Steps taken/proposed to be taken, if any, for improvement in implementation of these schemes.

  • Construction of Storage God owns under Plan Scheme

    The monitoring and control of the Plan Scheme of construction of storage godowns by the FCI is done regularly by the FCI through meetings with the concerned ED Zones/GMs of regions. Further, the Department also reviews the progress at regular intervals. In addition, the Planning Commission also reviews the progress from time to time.

  • Private Entrepreneurs Guarantee (PEG) Scheme for creation of additional storage capacity.

The monitoring and control of the PEG Scheme for construction of storage godowns by the FCI is done regularly by the FCI through meetings with the concerned ED Zones/GMs of regions. Further, the Department also reviews the progress at regular intervals.

What steps are being taken by the Govt./FCI to promote the PEG Scheme?

Following steps are being taken: -

  • To increase the awareness among potential investors, Investor’s meets are being organized both at Regional and Zonal level.
  • Investors are made aware of the Gramin Bhandaran Yojana, which is a capital investment scheme of the Department of Agriculture and Cooperation . They are also made aware of the allocations made under the Rural Infrastructure Development Fund(RIDF) for creating warehousing infrastructure.

How do a person can construct godown under PEG Scheme? From whom one can get the first hand information in this regard?

Any person who owns land or holding land under registered lease deed for a minimum period of 13 years with permission to construct godown or willing to acquire land by way of ownership/registered lease deed within 120 days from the date of acceptance of tender, may participate in the open tender, floated by the Nodal Agency. For first hand information, one can contact the Regional Offices of FCI or the Office of the Nodal Agency. Information in this regard is also available on the website of FCI i.e.''External website that opens in a new window

How much land is required for construction of a standard size godown?

For initial 5,000 MT godowns, minimum 2 acres land is required and for subsequent 5,000 MT, 1.7 acre land is required. Minimum capacity for tendering is 5,000 MT for plain areas and 1,670 MT for hilly areas.

What is the minimum and maximum rate of hiring of godowns?

There is no ceiling rate fixed for private investors. They have to bid under a competitive two bid tendering system i.e. Technical bid & Price bid, and may quote the rate as per their capital investment and cost of operations.

What is the basis of deciding reasonability of rates received through the tender process?

The reasonability of rates received through tenders are examined on the basis of the cost of land in that area, topography, cost of construction materials, urgency for the creation of storage capacity, availability of alternate storage capacity etc.

S&R Division

How many Quality Control Cells are functioning under the Ministry and what are their main functions?

Eight Quality Control Cells (QCCs) located at New Delhi, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Bangalore, Bhopal, Bhubaneshwar, Lucknow and Pune are functioning under the direct control of the Department of Food & Public Distribution.

The main objective of these QCCs is to help State Governments and FCI to ensure quality of the food grains at the time of procurement, storage and distribution. Surprise checks are conducted at Food Storage Depots, by the officers of these cells to ensure the quality of food grains. It is also ensured that the guidelines/instructions issued by Government about proper storage and maintenance of food grains are followed by the FCI, CWC, SWCs and State agencies. These cells attend to various complaints received from MPs, VIPs, State Governments, media and consumers about the quality of food grains during procurement, storage and distribution. Discrepancies/shortcomings noticed during inspection/ investigations are communicated to the concerned authorities for taking remedial measures including action against the delinquents.

Why there is a perception that large scale damages or rotting of food grains occur all over the country? Is it true?

It is not true that there is large scale damage to food grains. An impression has been created by the media that a substantial quantity of food grains are damaged. Some quantities of food grains stored in godowns may get damaged during storage due to various reasons, such as, storage pest attack, leakages in godowns, procurement of poor quality stock, during movement of stocks, exposure to rains, floods, negligence on the part of concern officials etc. The following table indicates percentage of accrual of damaged food grains Vis-a-vis off take from FCI stocks for the last five years-

Item 2009-10 2010-11 2011-12 2012-13 2013-14 2014-15
(up to 31.10.2014)
Total offtake of stock (wheat & rice) from FCI godowns (In lakh tons) excluding DCP States 371.06 432.10 473.59 552.60 523.16 275.04
Quantity accrued as damaged/ non-issuable (In lakh tons) 0.070 0.060 0.030 0.031 0.247 0.115
Percentage on non-issuable stock Vis-a-vis offtake 0.019 0.014 0.007 0.006 0.047 0.042

What is CAP storage? Is the food grains stored in CAP at risk? How long it can be stored in CAP?

CAP stands for Cover and Plinth where in food grains (wheat and paddy) bags are stored in dome shaped stacks of standard size & height on high plinth with pucca masonry work and properly covered with low density polyethylene covers. Due to constraints of covered godowns, in food grains surplus states like Punjab and Haryana wheat is stored in CAP.

Wheat stocks kept in scientific CAP are not at risk, if required measures are taken to ensure safe storage of food grains. food grains are generally stored only in scientifically built CAPs and the health of the food grains is monitored at regular intervals by a system of checks and super checks at different levels. Wheat can be stored in CAP for longer periods if scientific code of practices is followed properly.

What are causes of storage losses?

The following reasons contribute mainly to storage loss as informed by FCI

  • Loss of moisture
  • Prolonged storage
  • Different climatic conditions
  • Bleeding/spillage of grains from gunny bags
  • Bird/ rodent trouble in storage complexes
  • Sliding down/ deterioration of stocks
  • Fungus/ insect infestation of stocks

What are the causes of transit/handling losses?

The following reasons contribute mainly to transit losses as informed by FCI

  • Pilferage and theft en-route
  • Driage of moisture during long transit
  • Multiple handling
  • Use of hooks by labor
  • Weak texture of gunnies & bursting of bags
  • Spillage through wagon holes/ cleavages & flap doors
  • Spillage and theft at transshipment points
  • Different modes of weighment

What steps have been taken by FCI for avoiding damage?

FCI is taking various measures right from procurement of food grains as per specifications and up to storage by adopting code of storage practices as follows:

Food grains are stored in scientifically built godowns.

When Godown space is in shortage, stocks are stored in CAP (Cover and Plinth) which is also based on scientific lines taking all precautionary measures at the time of storing the food grains.

The health of food grains is monitored at regular intervals by a system of check and super checks at different levels. Following checks/super checks are conducted in the godowns by FCI to ensure proper preservation of food grains in the storage.

  • Fortnightly inspection of stock on 100% basis by Technical Assistants
  • Monthly inspection by Manager (QC)
  • Quarterly inspection by AGM (QC)
  • Super checks by Regional, Zonal and FCI Headquarter Squads
  • Insect infestation is prevented by undertaking periodic prophylactic treatments. Whenever insect infestation is noticed at any time during periodic inspections, immediate curative treatment is given to infested stocks.
  • Bird infestation is controlled by using door nets.
  • Since godowns are built on scientific basis, food grains do not get infested by rodents. However, in the premises of godowns/CAP storage whenever rodents are noticed, rodenticides are used to eradicate them.
  • FIFO (First in First Out) system is followed in liquidation of stocks to contain any deterioration due to longer storage.

What are food safety standards for the food grains?

Prevention of Food Adulteration Act 1954 with rules and regulations amended from time to time has been repealed and Food Safety and Standards Act 2006 with rules and regulations has come into force from 5th August, 2011.


Food grains meant for human consumption shall be whole and broken kernels of cereals, millets and pulses. In addition to the under mentioned standards to which food grains shall conform, they shall be free from Argemone mexicana and Khesari in any form. They shall be free from added coloring matter. The food grains shall not contain any insecticide residues more than limits prescribed under the rules & regulations of Food Safety and Standards Act 2006.

Wheat: Wheat shall be the dried mature grains of Triticum aestivum Linn Or Triticum Vulgare Vill. Triticum durum Desf. Triticum sphaerococcum Perc. Triticum dicoccum Schubl, Triticum compactum Host. It shall be sweet, clean and wholesome. It shall also conform to the following standards namely:-

(i) Moisture Not more than 14 percent by weight (obtained by heating the pulverized grains at 130 degree C – 133 degree C for two hours)
(ii) Foreign matter
(Extraneous matter)
Not more than 1 percent by weight of which not more than 0.25% by weight shall be mineral matter and not more than 0.10 per cent by weight shall be impurities of animal origin.
(iii) Other edible grains Not more than 6 per cent by weight.
(iv) Damaged grains Not more than 6.0 per cent by weight including Karnal bunt affected grains and ergot affected grains shall not exceed 3.0 per cent and 0.05 per cent by weight respectively.
(v) Weevilled Grains Not more than 10 per cent by count.
(vi) Uric Acid Not more than 100 mg. Per kg.
(vii) Aflatoxin Not more than 30 micrograms per kg.
(viii) Deoxynivalenol (DON) Not more than 1000 micrograms per kg.

Provided that the total of foreign matter, other edible grains and damaged grains shall not exceed 12 per cent by weight.


Rice shall be the mature kernels or pieces of kernels of Oryza sativa Linn. obtained from paddy as raw or parboiled. It shall be dry, sweet, clean wholesome and free from unwholesome poisonous substance. It shall also conform to the following standards namely:

  • Moisture - Not more than 16.0 per cent by weight (obtained by heating the pulverized grains at 130 degree C – 133 degree C for two hours).
  • Foreign matter - Not more than 1 per cent by weight of which not more (Extraneous matter) than 0.25 per cent by weight shall be mineral matter and not more than 0.10 cent by weight shall be impurities of animal origin.
  • Damaged grains - Not more than 5 per cent by weight
  • Weevilled grains - Not more than 10 per cent by count.
  • Uric Acid - Not more than 100 mg. Per kg.
  • Aflatoxin - Not more than 30 micrograms per kilogram.

Provided that the total of foreign matter, other edible grains and damaged grains shall not exceed 6 per cent by weight.

What are the treatments given to the food grains for saving them from damages?

Insect infestation is prevented by undertaking periodic prophylactic treatments. Whenever insect infestation is noticed at any time during periodic inspection immediate curative treatment is given to infested stocks.

Prophylactic Treatments

S.No. Pesticides Dilution Dosage Frequency
1 Malathion
50% EC
1:100 3Lt solution per 100 Once in 15 days
2 Deltamethrin
2.5% WP
40gms /Lt 3 Lt solution per 100 Once in 90 days
76% EC
1:150 Empty space treatment 3 Lt. Solution per 100 Square Meter. Air charging as & when required

Curative Treatments

Pesticide Type of Storage Dosage Period of exposure
Aluminium Phosphide In cover fumigation 9 gms/MT Exposure period minimum 5 days
- In shed fumigation 63 gms/ 28 Cu.Meter. -
- In CAP Storage 9gms/MT+20% additional -

In the premises of CAP storage whenever rodents are noticed rodenticides must be used to eradicate them.

National Food Security Act, 2013

When the National Food Security Act, 2013 (NFSA) has come into force?

Government has notified the National Food Security Act, 2013 (NFSA) on 10th September, 2013. It has deemed to have come into force on 5th July, 2013, the date on which the National Food Security Ordinance, 2013 was promulgated.

However, the NFSA provides for a period not exceeding one year, i.e. up to 04.07.2014, to the State Governments for identification of households to be covered under Targeted Public Distribution System (TPDS).

What are the entitlements for food grains under NFSA?

Every person belonging to identified eligible households is entitled to receive 5 Kg of food grains per person per month at subsidized prices under TPDS. The existing Antyodaya Anna Yojana (AAY) households, which constitute the poorest of the poor, will continue to receive 35 Kg of food grains per household per month.

What are the prices at which food grains will be provided to the entitled beneficiaries?

Food grains under TPDS under the Act will be made available at subsidized prices of Rs. 3, 2 and 1 per Kg for rice, wheat and coarse grains respectively for a period of three years from the date of commencement of the Act. Thereafter prices will be suitably linked to Minimum Support Prices (MSPs).

Whether the entire population of the country is covered under the Act to receive subsidized food grains?

Upto 75% of the rural population and 50% of the urban population will be covered under TPDS under the Act, thus covering about two-thirds of the population of the country.

Whether the percentage coverage of 75%/50% for rural/urban population for subsidized food grains under TPDS is applicable uniformly to all States/UTs?

No, coverage of 75%/50% for rural/urban population is at the all India level, corresponding to which, State-wise coverage has been determined by the Central Government for each State/UT.

What is the basis for determining State-wise coverage under TPDS under the NFSA and what are the State-wise percentage coverage?

Planning Commission has determined the State-wise coverage by using the NSSO Household Consumption Survey data for 2011-12. The State-wise percentage coverage of population under TPDS under NFSA is atAppendix IPDF file that opens in new window. To know how to open PDF file refer Help section located at bottom of the site. (148KB)

How and by whom the eligible households for coverage under TPDS will be identified?

Within the coverage under TPDS determined for each State, the work of identification of eligible households is to be done by States/UTs. States will identify AAY households in accordance with the guidelines applicable to the AAY scheme and remaining households as priority households in accordance with their own guidelines. The identification is to be done by States/UTs within a period of 365 days from the commencement of the Act.

How the food grains will be allocated to a State till it starts implementation of the Act/identification of households under TPDS are complete?

The Act provides that the State Govt. shall continue to receive the allocation of food grains from the Central Govt. under the existing TPDS till the identification of households for coverage under NFSA is complete.

Whether based on the coverage and entitlements provided in the Act, food grains allocation for some States/UTs would be lower than their allocation under the existing TPDS? If so, what provision has been made in NFSA to protect the existing allocation of States/UTs?

The Act provides that if annual allocation of food grains to any State under the Act is less than the average annual offtake of food grains for last three years, the same shall be protected. Accordingly, food grains allocation for each State/UT has been determined and specified in Schedule IV of the Act.

What are the other entitlements for food security in NFSA?

In addition to entitlement for subsidized food grains under TPDS, the Act provides for nutritional support to pregnant women and lactating mothers and children. Pregnant women and lactating mothers and children in the age group of 6 months to 14 years will be entitled to meals as per prescribed nutritional norms under Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) and Mid-Day Meal (MDM) schemes. Higher nutritional norms have been prescribed for malnourished children up to 6 years of age.
Pregnant women and lactating mothers will also be entitled to receive maternity benefit of not less than Rs. 6,000.
The entitlements for pregnant women and lactating mothers and children up to the age of 6 years, provided in the Act, will be implemented by the Ministry of Women and Child Development. The entitlements for children in the age group of 6 years to 14 years will be implemented by the Ministry of Human Resource Development (Department of School Education and Literacy).

What will happen in case the entitled food grains or meals are not provided to the beneficiary?

In case of non-supply of the entitled quantities of food grains or meals to entitled persons, such persons shall be entitled to receive food security allowance from the concerned State Government.

What is the mechanism for addressing the grievances in the Act?

The Act provides that every State Government shall put in place an internal grievance redressal mechanism which may include call centres, help lines, designation of nodal officers, or such other mechanism as may be prescribed.
It is further provided that the State Government shall appoint or designate, for each district, an officer to be the District Grievance Redressal Officer (DGRO) for expeditious and effective redressal of grievances of the aggrieved persons in matters relating to distribution of entitled food grains or meals and to enforce the entitlements under the Act.
There is also a provision that every State Government shall constitute a State Food Commission for the purpose of monitoring and review of implementation of the Act., States will have the flexibility to use the existing machinery or set up separate mechanism.

Where can appeal against an order of DGRO be filed?

Any complainant or the officer or authority against whom any order has been passed by a DGRO, who is not satisfied with the redressal of grievance, may file an appeal against such order before the State Food Commission.

Whether there is any provision for levying a penalty for not complying with the provisions of the Act?

The Act provides that any public servant or authority found guilty, by the State Commission at the time of deciding any complaint or appeal, of failing to provide the relief recommended by the District Grievance Redressal Officer, without reasonable cause, or wilfully ignoring such recommendation, shall be liable to penalty not exceeding five thousand rupees.

Who is responsible for delivery of entitlements to the beneficiaries?

The main responsibility of the Central Government is to allocate from the central pool the required quantity of food grains to the State Governments under TPDS and in respect of other entitlements, at the prices specified in Schedule I of the Act. The Central Government is also responsible to provide for transportation of food grains, as per allocation, to the depots designated by the Central Government in each State.
It is the responsibility of State Governments to take delivery of food grains from the designated depots of the Central Government, organize intra-State allocation for delivery of food grains at the doorstep of each fair price shop and ensure actual delivery or supply of food grains to entitled persons under TPDS. Similarly, in respect of entitlements for meals to women and children, it is the responsibility of State Governments to take delivery of food grains from the designated depots and ensure actual delivery of entitled benefits to the beneficiaries.

What is the role of local authorities like panchayats, municipal authorities etc. in implementation of NFSA?

NFSA provides that the local authorities shall be responsible for proper implementation of the Act in their respective areas and the State Government may assign, by notification, additional responsibilities for implementation of the TPDS to the local authority. It is further provided that in implementing different schemes of the Ministries and Departments of the Central Government and the State Governments, prepared to implement provisions of this Act, the local authorities shall be responsible for discharging such duties and responsibilities as may be assigned to them, by notification, by the respective State Governments.

Plan Schemes



Public Grievance

Sugar Development Fund

Information regarding foreign travel of officers & Ministers of Department of Food & P.D.

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