Among the issues the new government is expected to address as a priority are the outstanding dues owed to Food Corporation of India (FCI) that stood at nearly Rs15,397 crore as of mid-March.
The department of food and public distribution, headed by agriculture minister Sharad Pawar, has for some time now been pressing the ministry of finance to quickly reimburse the outstanding dues to the FCI.
Earlier this month, the department informed the Prime Minister’s Office that it was waiting to hear from the finance ministry. The issue is now expected to be addressed in the run-up to the Union government’s budget announcement. It is likely that a significant amount could be reimbursed through special bonds. Total FCI bonds issued by the finance ministry are of the order of Rs16,200 crore.
The money is owed to the FCI for foodgrains supplied to the rural development ministry under various Central schemes. The dues include interest and loss on account of the sale of previous FCI bonds.