Discuss the key recommendations of Shanta Kumar Committee in restructuring of FCI.
Hint: FCI should transfer all procurement functions to states where the states have considerable experience and infrastructure. Such states include Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha and Punjab. In these states, FCI’s procurement should be only of surplus than needed for PDS. The FCI’s procurement should be confined to states where the farmers have to settle for less than MSP price. Centre should not accept any surplus grains from states which provide subsidy / bonus additional to MSP. There should be uniformity in operations. There should be uniform statutory levy @ 3 or 4%. Stringent quality check while accepting grains. Promote Negotiable Warehouse Receipt System (NWRS) under which farmers can park their produce in registered warehouses and even get up to 80% advance from banks @ MSP. Give priority to pulses and oilseeds. Revise the food security law with such provisions that no subsidy is offered to states that have not computerized the lost of beneficiaries. Bring down coverage of NFSA to 40% (from 67%). Introduce cash transfers in PDS in cities. FCI should outsource food-grain stocking operations. Direct Cash Transfers to farmers (@ INR 7000/ha) to help them raise productivity and overall food production in the country.