The Tamil Nadu Civil Supplies Corporation (TNCSC) has placed an order with the National Cooperative Consumers’ Federation (NCCF) for the supply of 7 lakh tonnes of rice to be used for the public distribution system.
To be provided by May, the quantity has been worked out at a rate of about ₹35 per kg, a rate that was prevalent in the past too, a senior official in the State government said.
The cost of raw rice will be ₹35.2 per kg and that of boiled rice, ₹35.4. Depending upon requirements, the proportion of the two types of rice will be decided. “Our idea is to have the supply of the entire quantity completed by the end of March,” the official said, adding that the Federation began its supply about 10 days ago.
The arrangement has been necessitated by the decision of the Union government and the Food Corporation of India (FCI) to not cover States under its Open Market Sale Scheme-Domestic (OMSS-D). The monthly allocation by the Centre to Tamil Nadu is approximately 2.97 lakh tonnes of rice for PDS under the National Food Security Act (NFSA).
Over and above this quantity, the State requires, on an average, 50,000 tonnes to 60,000 tonnes per month, given the fact that it has over 2.2 crore rice-drawing ration cards. One of the routes used by the State, traditionally, to meet the shortfall was to purchase rice from the FCI under the OMSS.
Meanwhile, the FCI’s southern region is going ahead with the sale of around 2.29 lakh tonnes of wheat and 3.68 lakh tonnes of rice under the OMSS through an e-auction, which is, however, not meant for agencies of State governments.
In respect of wheat, the quantity that a bidder can ask for ranges from 10 tonnes to 100 tonnes and for rice, it is 10 tonnes to 1,000 tonnes. As for wheat, the rates for the categories of Fair and Average Quality (FAQ) and Under Relaxed Specifications (URS) are ₹21.50/ per kg and ₹21.25/ per kg. In respect of rice, the rates are ₹29 per kg for normal variety and ₹29.73/- per kg for fortified rice (boiled or raw).
As of now, 82,960 tonnes of wheat and 1,080 tonnes of rice have been sold.