The Food Corporation of India is an organization created and run by the Government of India. It is a statutory body under the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution, Government of India, formed by the enactment of Food Corporation Act 1964 https://dfpd.gov.in/acts_C.htm in the Parliament of India. Its top official is designated as Chairman. It was set up in 1965 with its Initial headquarters at Chennai. Later this was moved to New Delhi. It also has regional centers in the capitals of the states. Important regions of the state also serve as district centers.
The Food Corporation of India (FCI) was set up on 14 January 1965 having its first District Office at Thanjavur – rice bowl of Tamil Nadu – and headquarters at Chennai (later shifted to Delhi) under the Food Corporations Act 1964 to implement the following objectives of the National Food Policy :
- Effective price support operations for safeguarding the interests of the poor farmers
- Distribution of foodgrains throughout the country for Public Distribution System (PDS)
- Maintaining a satisfactory level of operational and buffer stocks of foodgrains to ensure National Food Security
- Regulate market price to provide foodgrains to consumers at a reliable price
It is one of the largest Corporations in India started by the government and probably the largest supply chain management in Asia. It operates through five Zonal offices and 24 Regional offices. Each year, the Food Corporation of India purchases roughly 15 to 20 percent of India's wheat output and 12 to 15 percent of its rice output. The purchases are made from the farmers at the rates declared by the Government of India. This rate is called MSP (Minimum Support Price). There is no limit for procurement in terms of volume, any quantity can be procured by FCI (Food Corporation of India) provided the stock satisfies FAQ (Fair Average Quality) specifications with respect to FCI.
Food Corporation of India operates through its Depot headed by Manager (Depot). Every district has few depots to cater to the requirement of the district's rural population. The depot reports to Divisional Office, headed by an Assistant General Manager, designated earlier as an Area Manager and now as Divisional Manager. Assistant General Manager (Quality Control) is also posted who is looking after the QC work that includes ensuring the food grains are pest free and subjected to regular pest control measures. Under Divisional Manager's control, there are Managers to deal with each and every section viz., Depot, Sales, Contracts, Procurement, SL-TL, Movement, Establishment, Quality Control (QC), Operational accounts, Civil Engineering and Electrical & Mechanical Engineering etc., who consolidate the field level operations and through the Divisional Managers' authorization, they transmit the necessary information and periodical statements to Regional Offices of their respective regions. Under Managers are Assistant Grades Level -1 and Junior Engineer (Both Civil and Electrical & Mechanical), Level -2 and Level - 3 who help managers in day-to-day operations of the organization. There are 21,847 employees working in FCI as of 2019.
The divisional office reports to regional offices which are headed by a General Manager, who is in most of the cases from Indian Revenue Service, Indian Administrative Service /All India Services under deputation. Under his control Deputy General Managers (DGM) who are FCI's officers co-ordinate with daily operations through the Assistant General Managers who were posted in various sections to oversee the functions of district offices units of their particular section. All these officers appraise the general manager periodically on various issues pertaining to district offices of that particular region.
FCI has been divided into 5 zones viz. North, South, East, West & North-East with a Zonal Office in each zone.
Locations of FCI, Zonal Offices:
- Zonal Office, North: Noida
- Zonal Office, East: Kolkata
- Zonal Office, West: Mumbai
- Zonal Office, North-East: Guwahati
- Zonal Office, South: Chennai
Each zone is further divided into regions with a regional office in one region. All the Regional Offices are under the control of Zonal Offices which are headed by an Executive Director, who in most of the cases is from Indian Administrative Service or Indian Revenue Service under deputation. Under his control three or more than three General Managers co-ordinate with all Regional Offices of their particular zone through subordinate officers like Deputy General Managers and Assistant General Managers dealing with their allotted operational sections in their respective zone.
All the Zonal Offices are under the control of Headquarters, located at New Delhi, which is headed by Chairman and Managing Director, who is an Indian Administrative Service of Secretary rank on Central Deputation. Headquarters instruct, communicate, consolidate and refine the voluminous information required for the streamlined execution of day-to-day operations and coordinates with Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution and Food Secretary and various sister corporations like Central Warehousing Corporation, Indian Railways in formulating food policy or amending the existing policy to suit the emerging challenges in managing Food Security scenario of the nation.
The CMD is a member of the Board of Directors along with Director Finance, Director HR, Director Operations and Director Sales.
The Food Corporation of India procures rice and wheat from farmers through many routes like paddy purchase centres/mill levy/custom milling and stores them in depots. FCI maintains many types of depots like food storage depots and buffer storage complexes and private equity godowns and also implemented latest storage methods of silo storage facilities which are located at Hapur in Uttar Pradesh, Malur in Karnataka and Elavur in Tamil Nadu. The stocks are transported throughout India by means of railways, roadways and waterways and issued to the state government nominees at the rates declared by the Government of India for further distribution under the Public Distribution System (PDS) for the consumption of the ration card holders. (FCI itself does not directly distribute any stock under PDS, and its operations end at the exit of the stock from its depots). The difference between the purchase price and sale price, along with internal costs, are reimbursed by the Union Government in the form of food subsidy. At present the annual subsidy is around $10 billion. FCI by itself is not a decision-making authority; it does not decide anything about the MSP, imports or exports. It just implements the decisions made by the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution and Ministry of Agriculture.
Food Corporation of India recently ventured into procurement of pulses in various regions from the crop year 2015–16, and pulses are procured at market rate, which is a sharp deviation from its traditional minimum support price-based procurement system.
In 2014, Government of India set up a high-level committee under the chairmanship of Hon'ble Member of Parliament and former Minister of Food and Consumer Affairs and Public Distribution Shri Shanthakumar to recommend viable solutions regarding restructuring and reorienting the role of Food Corporation of India, and the committee submitted its report to the government, and many of the committee recommendations are under various stages of implementation. On 27 November 2019, Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) approved to increase the authorized capital of Food Corporation of India (FCI) from existing Rs.3,500 crore to Rs.10,000 crore.
- "D.V. Prasad appointed CMD of Food Corporation of India". thehindu.
- Acts Of Parliament. New Delhi: Government of India Press Delhi. 1966. pp. 300.
- Chopra, R. N (1984). Green Revolution In India. Delhi: Intellectual Publishing House. p. 37.
- "Personnel - Food Corporation of India". fci.gov.in. Retrieved 10 July 2020.
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