FCI goes online, links 30 godowns
To bring transparency and minimise storage losses of foodgrains, state-run Food Corporation of India (FCI) on Thursday made operations online at its 30 godowns and aims to bring 524 more depots under the system by July.
Of its total 1,928 godowns, operations at 554 FCI-owned godowns will go online initially. Other godowns that have been hired from private parties would be connected to the system thereafter.
“The Depot Online System has been completed. It is a historic step. The automation of the entire process from entry and exit of foodgrains at FCI depots would bring total transparency in the working of FCI. This will improve efficiency in operations of depots,” Food Minister Ram Vilas Paswan said after the launch of the system at an FCI depot here.
The Depot Online System will be rolled out in all 554 FCI-owned godowns by July this year. It will also be implemented in godowns owned by state-run Central Warehousing Corporation and State Warehousing Corporations as well as hired ones by March 2017, he said.
Once all depot operations are made online, Paswan said the next focus would be linking one depot to the other online, for which the Centre is holding discussions with state governments.
The online depot system would eliminate manual registers and help in better monitoring as it would reduce leakages and losses. The cost of the project is estimated to be Rs 63 crore. At present, only stock position data is available in digital form at FCI depots. However, every operation from loading to unloading of foodgrains is done manually, as a result depot staff spend a lot of time in managing operational data in registers.
Depot online is a milestone in the overall modernisation of FCI, which is engaged in the procurement and storage of over 60 million tonnes of wheat and rice and movement of 45 million tonnes of grains across India.
Highlighting other digital initiatives taken to reform public distribution system (PDS), Paswan said 24.16 crore ration cards have been digitised and would be integrated with the Aadhaar system in the next two years.