March 18, 2015
Tapas Mandal speaks during discussion on The Warehousing Corporations (Amendment) Bill, 2015 | Transcript
The premier warehousing agency in India, established in 1957 providing logistical support to the agricultural sector, is one of the biggest public warehouse operators in this country offering logistics service to a diverse group of clients. CWC is operating in 464 warehouses across the country with a storage capacity of 10.8 million tonnes; providing warehousing service for a wide range of products ranging from agricultural produce to sophisticated industrial products. Few amendments were introduced in the House for passing. The Corporation is a Schedule A, Mini Ratna Category 1 Public Sector Undertaking with effect from 23 September, 2009.
Based on that, the guarantee would be withdrawn as the Central Government disassociates from its responsibility from being a guarantor.
I am unable to understand why the Government is keeping away from the profit making body? What is the intention behind it? It is a fact that Mini Ratna awardee public enterprises do not get financial support or government guarantees as per the provisions.
I think by passing this Amendment the beneficiaries may feel insecure. It is an unwise decision where the Government is running with debts.
The Corporation is constantly making profits and paying dividends to its shareholders. CWC paid dividend at the rate of 41% of the equity for the year 2012-13.
According to the statement of the objects and reasons of the Bill, the Government has also not given any guarantee besides the payment of minimum guarantee dividend as required under some provisions of the Act.
The storage capacity utilization was 86% in 2013-14. I think that needs to be probed in due course of time. Sufficient warehousing facilities need to be extended for agricultural produce. Around 20% to 30% of the total food grain harvested is wasted due to inadequate facilities. Only 29% of the space accounts for agro warehousing. India needs to recalibrate its strategy to mitigate the challenge of high food grain wastage due to lack of scientifically sound storage facilities in this country and high inflation due to lack infrastructures like cold storage and refrigerated transport as it leads to the wastage of food and vegetables.
The Central Railside Warehouse Company under this CWC decided to construct railside warehouse worth Rs 15 Crore in Gujarat, Maharashtra, Bihar, Assam and Karnataka. There was a same proposal for Malda in West Bengal during the last financial year, which has been refused by the Railways.
I request the Government to rethink it as this project is vital for the merit and its vital geographical advantage for the whole country. I conclude with this expectation that the Government will look into it seriously.