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GOVERNMENT OF INDIA
MINISTRY OF CONSUMER AFFAIRS, FOOD AND PUBLIC DISTRIBUTION
LOK SABHA
UNSTARRED QUESTION NO: 1345
ANSWERED ON:  27.07.2021
Food Grain for Poor
Achyutananda Samanta
Will the Minister of



CONSUMER AFFAIRS, FOOD AND PUBLIC DISTRIBUTION be pleased to state:-


(a) whether the Government has allocated 78,000 tonnes of rice from Food Corporation of India (FCI) stocks for private distilleries for ethanol blending at subsidised rates, if so, the reasons thereof;

(b) whether the aforesaid subsidised rate is lower than the rate at which rice is available to State governments for purchasing, if so, the details thereof; and

(c) the steps being taken by the Government to ensure that poorest sections of society receive sufficient food grains, considering that India ranks 94th out of 117 countries as per the Global Hunger Index 2020, and the serious possibility that this will be further exacerbated due to COVID-19, if so, the details thereof, if not, the reasons therefor?


ANSWER
A N S W E R
MINISTER OF STATE FOR MINISTRY OF RURAL DEVELOPMENT AND CONSUMER AFFAIRS, FOOD & PUBLIC DISTRIBUTION
(SADHVI NIRANJAN JYOTI)

(a)&(b): India imports about 85% of its crude oil requirement. Domestic bio-fuels like ethanol reduce the nation’s dependence on imported fossil fuels; in addition, its use reduces vehicular pollution, increases farmers’ income, brings new investment opportunity in rural areas thereby helping to achieve goal of Atmanirbhar Bharat.
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Ethanol is being produced mainly from molasses/sugarcane and damaged food-grains; but availability of these feed stocks as well as ethanol production capacity is not sufficient to achieve blending target fixed by the Government.

Therefore, with a view to increase production of fuel grade ethanol for blending with petrol, Government is encouraging distilleries to produce ethanol from maize and also surplus rice available with FCI. Government is providing FCI rice to distilleries producing ethanol at a subsidized rate of Rs. 2000/ qtl which is the same rate at which rice is available under Open Market Sale Scheme (Domestic) to State Governments.

For the period of December’2020-November’2021, 78844 MT of FCI rice has been allocated to distilleries for production of ethanol out of which 23660 MT has been lifted by distilleries till 20.7.2021. The competitiveness of the feed stock will determine the preferential use of various feed stocks and at present use of rice from FCI is the smallest segment of feed stock and is expected to contribute 3.28 crore litre in total supply of contracted quantity of 342.70 crore litre of ethanol in ethanol supply year (Dec. 2020 to Nov. 2021) 2020-21.

(c): With a view to ensure that poorest sections of the society receive sufficient food grains, Government is providing subsidized food grains i.e rice/wheat/ coarse grains @ Rs. 3/2/1 per kg respectively to about 79.51 crore persons across the country under National Food Security Act, 2013 (NFSA). In addition to the entitlement under the NFSA, these beneficiaries are also entitled to receive 5 kg of food grains (rice/ wheat) per person per month, free of cost from May to November, 2021 under the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalayan Anna Yojana (PMGKAY) to mitigate the impact of the Covid pandemic.

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