Food grains: India facing a problem of plenty
Some great news to cheer about. However, The Financial Express wishes to see this as a problem.
"India's food economy is looking at a problem of plenty. Government granaries are holding quantities of wheat and rice far above their buffer norms. Plus, wheat production in 2009 is estimated to be a near-record 78 million tonnes. Government wheat stocks in the central pool on February 1, 2009 are estimated to be 20.19 million tonnes, while rice stocks are estimated to be 16.77 million tonnes. Wheat stocks on April 1, 2009 is expected to be around 10.31 million tonnes, far above the year-ending buffer requirement of 4.0 million tonnes, while rice stocks on October 1, 2009 are projected to be 5.91 million tonnes, more than the norm of 5.2 million tonnes. High inventories have already created a storage problem for Food Corporation of India (FCI). Storage will be a bigger problem when the new rabi procurement starts from April 1. FCI will need additional storage space for more than 4.3 million tonnes in Punjab and 4.4 million tonnes in Haryana for the new wheat stocks. The cost of creating additional sarkari storage is high. The government should, therefore, first ease the two-year-long ban on wheat and wheat product exports and, second, relax the stock limit and disclosure norms for private traders."