Ratna De Nag speaks on Warehousing Corporations (Amendment) Bill, 2015 | Transcript

Warehousing Corporation Act was introduced in Lok Sabha, on 3 March 2015. The bill has been brought to suitably amend section 5 of the warehousing corporation act 1962 which would withdraw the guarantee the Government has given the warehousing corporation under subsection 1 of 5 of this act.

Sir, why should Government absolve itself when CWD is making profit and has not taken any loan from the Government nor is it dependent on it. Why should the Mini Ratna Public Sector Enterprise be absolved from the administration of the Government.  It defies logic and reasoning. The Government needs to explain a lot.

Sir, I would like to highlight the food worth thousands of crore is wasted every year. In 2013 we have wasted food worth Rs 13,300 crore. On one hand we find poor go to sleep without food, on the other hand we see food grains rot in the Government godown. It would be astonishing to know that according to 2013 global Hunger Index, India ranks 63rd out of 78 hungriest countries. India is worse than Sri Lanka, Nepal, Pakistan and Bangladesh. United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization believe that 17% of Indians are still too undernourished  people live in India which is more than in all sub-saharan Africa.  According to UNICEF 47% of Indian children are underweight and 46% of those under 3 years old are too small for their age. The shocking thing is that almost half of all childhood days can be attributed to malnutrition.

The Indian Institute of Management in Kolkata estimated sometimes back that cold storage facilities are available in only 10% of perishable food produces, leaving around 370 Million tones of perishable food products rotting.

There is a need to bring vast changes to stop perishable food crops. India is one of the food surplus country still we are not able to curb food grain wastages. Our food production is going up and on one side  year after year. Court too tell the Government not to waste food grains in godowns instead should  distribute it amongst the poor.

There is a need for establishing state-of-the-art distribution chain, vast in quality in cold storage network across the country to ensure that the food is not perished.  We may also to introduce refrigerated tracks there is also need to ensure 24×7 electricity supply. Excessive use of perishable food in godown should be stopped. We have ASSOCHAM study report that over 30% of food grains are stored unscientifically.

It is true, Sir, that we have inadequate storage capacity to the tune up around 20-30% of total food grain harvest which is declared as waste. What measures have put in place in last 10  months to modernise the storage of the food grain.

Thank you, Sir.