Food and Civil Supplies: India
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A REFERENCE ANNUAL
RESEARCH, REFERENCE AND TRAINING DIVISION
MINISTRY OF INFORMATION AND BROADCASTING
GOVERNMENT OF INDIA
Food and Civil Supplies: India
THE Department of Food and Public Distribution is responsible for management of the food economy of the nation. Towards this end, the Department's main activities are procurement of foodgrains, their storage, movement and delivery to the distributing agencies. A close watch is kept on production and efforts are made to ensure their adequate availability for the Public Distribution System in different parts of the country. The details of Producation and procurement of major foodgrains for the last 11 years is given as follows:-
The Essential Commodities Act, 1955 was enacted to ensure the easy availability of essential commodities to consumers and to protect them from exploitation by unscrupulous traders. The Act provides for the regulation and control of production, distribution and pricing of commodities which are declared as essential for maintaining or increasing supplies or for securing their equitable distribution and availability at fair prices. Exercising powers under the Act, various Ministries/ Departments of the Central Government and under the delegated powers, the State Governments/UT Administrations have issued Control Orders for regulating production, distribution, pricing and other aspects of trading in respect of the commodities declared as essential. The enforcement/implementation of the provisions of the Essential Commodies Act, 1955 lies with the State Governments and UT Administrations.
The list of essential commodities has been reviewed from time to time with reference to the production and supply of these commodities and in the light of economic liberalisation in consultation with the concerned Ministries/Departments administering these commodities. The number of essential commodities has been brought down to seven at present through such periodic reviews.
In conformity with the policy of the Government towards economic liberalisation, Department of Consumer Affairs is committed to the development of agriculture and trade by removing unnecessary controls and restrictions to achieve a single Indian Common Market across the country for both manufactured and agricultural produce and to encourage linkage between agriculture and industry. Seven commodities considered essential to protect the interest of the farmers and the vulnerable section of the society have been retained under the Essential Commodities Act, 1955. They are:
(2) Fertilizer, whether inorganic, organic or mixed;
(3) Foodstuffs, including edible oilseeds and oils;
(4) Hank yarn made wholly from cotton;
(5) Petroleum and petroleum products;
(6) Raw jute and jute textile;
(7) (i) seeds of food-crops and seeds of fruits and vegetables;
(ii) seeds of cattle fodder; and
(iii) jute seeds,
(iv) cotton seed.
The Central Government have also been empowered to add, remove and modify any essential commodity in the public interest in consultation with the State Government.
The restrictions like licensing requirements, stock limits and movement restrictions have been removed from most of the agricultural commodity, Pulses, edible oils, edible oilseeds, rice, paddy and sugar being exceptions, where States have been permitted to impose some temporary restrictions in order to contain price increase of these commodities. The validity of all these orders have been extended from time to time and these orders are presently valid till 30.09.02011, in respect of pulses, edible oils, edible oilseeds, rice, paddy and sugar. Wheat as a commodity has been withdrawn from the ambit of the orders w.e.f. 01.04.2009.
In pursuance to the above orders, all State Government/UTs were requested to implement this order by issuing either a fresh control order or reviving the old control order for fixing stock limits for various categories or dealers such as millers/ producers, wholesalers and retailers in respect of these commodities. States/UTs have also been empowered to take effective action exercising the powers vested with / delegated to them under the Essential Commodities Act, 1955.
The Prevention of Black-marketing and Maintenance of Supplies of Essential Commodities Act, 1980 is being implemented by the State Governments/UT Administrations for the prevention of unethical trade practices like hoarding and black-marketing, etc. Detentions are made by the States/UTs in selective cases to prevent hoarding and block-marketing of the essential commodities. As per reports received from the State Governments, 205 detention orders were issued under the Act during the year 2010.
Consumer co-operative have been playing a significant role in the distribution of consumer goods, particularly supply of essential consumer items at fair prices to the rural community, especially in the remote, inaccessible and hilly areas. The objective of consumer cooperatives has been to eliminate the middleman and to protect the wholesalers and sell to consumers at reasonable prices. The surplus, if any, is distributed among the members as bonus on purchases or used for growth of the cooperatives.
Consumer cooperatives have received good deal of support from the Government, as they help to check rise in prices of consumer goods. Consumer Cooperatives have a four-tier structure comprising primary store, wholesale/Central store, State Consumer Cooperative Federations and National Consumer Cooperative Federations. However, in the States located in North East and the smaller State/UT's, composite state level consumer cum marketing federations dealing with consumer articles are functioning.
The NCCF is the National level Consumers Co-operative organization in the country. The NCCF was set up on 15th October 1965 and is administered under the Multi State Cooperative Societies Act. The affairs of NCCF are managed by a Board of Directors, comprising of both elected and nominated members as per the provisions of the Bye-laws of the NCCF. The commercial operations of the NCCF are handled at the headquarter level at New Delhi and its 34 Branches/sub-branches located in the State Capitals and other important centers in the country. The NCCF runs one Pulses Processing Unit at Bhiwani (Haryana).
The Total paid up share capital of the NCCF as on 31.03.2011 was Rs. 12.54 crores. This amount has been contributed by the members, out of which the contribution of the Government of India is Rs. 9.49 crores only. The Government of India now holds about 76% of the total paid up share capital in the NCCF.
The NCCF is involved in procurement and marketing of various consumer goods like pulses of different varieties, food grains, textiles, tea and other manufactured items in bulk. It has also made arrangements for supply of items like different varieties of pulses, iodized salt, tea in consumer packs, toilet soap, detergent power etc. all over the country. The NCCF has taken initiatives to broad base its commercial operations by entering into new lines of business with a view to face new economic challenges and sustain its survival. The Federation during the year expanded its services to more areas and attempted diversification in new lines of business such as undertaking House Projects, construction and renovation of Hospitals/ Slaughter Houses/Cattle sheds, Agriculture based infrastructural projects, supply of Agriculture inputs and Medi-tourism. The sales turnover achieved by the NCCF during the year 2010-11 was Rs. 1506.55 crores with a net profit of Rs. 12.79 crores.
The Consumer Grievances Redressal Cell was set up in February 2002. It receives a large number of complaints from consumers relating to shortfall in the supplies/ expectations, deficiency in services which covers complaints/grievances regarding (i) supply of defective household appliances including automobiles; (ii) T.V. sets, poor construction materials; (iii) Non-refund of fixed deposit amounts; (iv) nonrealization of divided from companies. The Cell as well as consumer Coordination Council (Core Centre) take up the grievances with the concerned manufacturers/ authorities/Departments for their redressal at the earliest.
A National Consumer Help Line has been launched by this Department with a toll free No. 1800-11-4000, for counseling the consumers to redress their grievances. The services of the Core Centre, National Consumer Help Line and VOICE are being utilized by the Government to promote and popularize a mechanism of redressal of consumers' complaints. The Government has been issuing advertisements in the leading newspapers and T.V. for creating greater awareness of consumers' rights.
FORWARD MARKETS COMMISSION
The Forward Markets Commission (FMC) is a statutory body set up under the Forward Contracts (Regulation) Act, 1952 and functions under the administrative control of the Ministry of consumers Affairs, Food and Public Distribution, Government of India. The FMC regulates froward markets in commodities through recognized associations, recommends to the Government the grant/withdrawal of recognition to the associations organizing forward trading in commodities, and makes recommendations for the general improvement of the functioning of the forward markets in the country.
The Government of India liberalized the commodity futures market after the year 2000 when it decided in its National Agriculture Policy statement that the economic benefits of these markets should reach the farmers. Immediately thereafter, training was permitted in all commodities and three national electronic commodity exchanges were set up. The liberalized markets witnessed a boom in the volume of commodities traded in the commodity futures market.
At present, there are 21 exchanges including five national level multi Commodity Exchanges which have been recognized for conducting futures/forward trading all over India in a wide range commodities. These national Exchanges have demutualised corporate structure, on-line trading, clearing and settlement systems and adopt the best international practices in the conduct of forward trading. They are allowed to conduct trading in any of the notified commodities subject to the approval of the contracts by the Forward Markets Commission. In addition to the five National Commodity Exchanges, there are 16 'Regional' or commodity-specific Exchanges that arrange forward trade in specific locations in the country.
These exchanges facilitate trade in local commodities, normally not numbering more than 2 to 3 commodities. These are mostly member-driven exchange, offering an open-outcry system of trading. At present, 113 commodities have been notified for trading in the commodity futures market. Of these, around 50 commodities are actively traded in the market and include agriculture commodities, such as food grains, pulses, edible oils & oilseeds and plantation crops, base metals such as copper, nickel, zinc, steel & aluminum, energy products such as crude oil furnace oil, coal, natural gas & electricity and bullion.
The expansion of the commodity futures market in the wake of liberalization of the market brought into sharp relief the inadequacy of the exissting regulatory framework contained in the Forward Contracts (Regulation) Act, 1952 to meet the challenges posed by the markets. The FMC is, therefore, actively pursuing the amendment of the Forward Contracts (Regulation) Act, 1952 to put in a place a regulatory architecture that would, inter alia, provide for:-
= strengthening of the regulatory framework including enforcement;
= granting administrative and financial autonomy to the regulator, i.e., FMC;
= allowing products other than futures, viz, options, indices, etc., and
= corporatization and demutualization of existing mutual commodity exchanges.
The Amendment Bill has been referred to the Departmental Parliamentary Standing Committee which is examining it at present and their report may be submitted to the Parliament in the near future.
Protecting the interests of consumers is one of the major concerns of Government as part of its social obligation. Policies have been designed and legislations enacted to protect the interests of the consumers and grant them the rights of choice, safety, information and redressal. A separate Department of Consumer Affairs was created in the Central Government in the year 1997 to act as the nodal Department to exclusively focus on protecting the rights of consumers including redressal of consumer grievances as well as to promote standards of goods and services, etc.
The Central Government has been requesting all the States/UTs to establish a separate Department with full fledge Secretary so that the consumer protection programme gets exclusive attention for protecting and promoting the welfare of consumers, resultantly, some State Governments have created separate Departments/Directorates of Consumer Affairs and, wherever it has not been feasible to do this, at least the nomenclature has been suitably modified to include Consumer Affairs/Consumer Protection for the general public to identify it with the same.
Consumer Protection Act, 1986
One of the most important milestones in the Consumer movement in the country has been the enactment of the Consumer Protection Act, 1986. This Act was necessitated because there were sections of manufacturers, traders and service providers, which armed with knowledge of the market and manipulative skills, often attempted to exploit the consumers. Moreover, various factors had resulted in enormous pendency and delay in disposal of cases in the civil courts, causing consumers to wait for years for settlement of even small claims. Hence, the Consumer Protection Act was enacted to better protect the interest of consumers. It is one of the most progressive and comprehensive pieces of legislation covering all goods and services.
The Salient Features of the act are as under:
= The Act provides for establishing a three-tier consumer dispute redressal machinery at the national, state and district levels commonly known as National Commission, State Commission and District Forum respectively. As on date 621 District Fora, 35 State Commissions and One National Commission have been established in the country.
= It is an umbrella legislation covering all goods and services, excluding only commercial transactions from the purview of the Act.
= A consumer can seek redressal against any manufacturer and trader of goods/ service provider whether it is an individual or public/private enterprise or a cooperative society etc. so long as the goods purchased or service availed of was for a consideration;
= The Act also provides for setting up of a Consumer Protection Council at the Central, State, District level, which is an advisory body to promote and protect the rights of the consumers.
= The provisions of the Act are in addition to and not in derogation of the provisions of any other law for the time being in force.
Though the responsibility of establishing consumer fora at the District and State levels is that of the States/UTs, the Central Government has been implementing plan schemes for improving the functioning of consumer fora.
A scheme for "computerization and computer networking of Consumer Fora in the country" (CONFONET) was launched during the 10th Plan period in March, 2005 at a cost of R 48.64 crores. Under the scheme, the Consumer Fora at all the three tiers throughout the country are being fully computerized and connected through network for exchange of information which would enable them to access information faster, facilitating quicker disposal of cases. The project is being implemented by the National Informatics Centre (NIC) on a turnkey basis. At the end of the year 2008-09, the NIC has supplied computer hardware and software to the National Commission, 34 State Commissions and 593 District Fora. Computer Hardware/ Software installation has been competed at 565 Consumer Fora.
An evaluation of this scheme has been got done by an independent agency. Subsequently, the meeting of Standing Finance Committee (SFC) for extension of the scheme in the 11th Plan with held on 11.05.2009, wherein extension of the CONFONET scheme during 11th Plan with a total outlay of Rs. 25.69 crores has been approved where remaining 29 Consumer Fora would be networked. Besides, in the 11th Plan, greater stress in being laid upon continued HR support by means of Technical Support Personnel (TSP). Training is also being emphasized upon. An amount of Rs. 12.55 crore has been released to NIC in 2009-10 and Rs. 8.89 crores in 2010-11 for activities under the XIth Plan CONFONET scheme. Strengthening the infrastructure of Consumer Fora
The Central Government has been extending financial assistance to States/UTs for strengthening the infrastructure of consumer fora so that minimum level of facilities are made available at each consumer forum, which are required for their effective functioning. These include construction of new building of the consumer fora, carrying out additional/alteration/renovation remuneration of existing buildings and grant for acquiring non-building assets such as furniture, office equipment etc. A total amount of Rs. 227,11 crores has been released to States/UTs from 1995-96 to 2010-11.
A new building is being constructed by the CPWD at INA Complex, New Delhi, to provide Office accommodation to the National Commission, at an overall cost of Rs. 19.90 crores. As informed by NCDRC, they are likely to shift in the new building in June. 2011.
As per the reports made available by the National Commission, the total number of cases filled and disposed of in the National Commission, State Commissions and District Fora, as on 23.05.2011 since inception, are as given below:
Sl. No. Name of Agency Cases filed Cases disposed Cases % of total Since of since pending Disposal inception inception
1. National Commission 69465 60504 8961 87.10
2. State Commissions 540082 439015 101067 81.29
3. District Fora 2943240 2687151 256089 91.30
Total 3552787 3186670 366117 89.69
"Jago Grahak Jago . (Wake up, O consumer)- An Initiative Towards Consumer Eduction and Awareness
An enlightened consumer is an empowered consumer. An aware consumer not only protects himself from exploitation but induces efficiency, transparency and accountability in the entire manufacturing and services sector. Realising the importance of consumer awareness, Government has accorded top priority to 'Consumer Education, Consumer Protection and Consumer Awareness. India is a country, which has taken a lead in introducing progressive legislation for consumer protection. The most important milestone in Consumer Movement in the country has been the enactment of the Consumer Protection Act, 1986. The Act has set in motion a revolution in the field of consumer rights, that perhaps cannot be paralleled anywhere else in the World. The Act applies of all goods and services unless specially exempted by the Central Government, in all sectors whether Private, Public or Cooperative. Consumer Awareness Scheme in the XI Plan
In a big country like India, given the scenario of economic disparity and level of education and ignorance, educating the consumers remains a gigantic task. Government has taken up number of activities and schemes in creating consumer awareness in the country as part of this Consumer Awareness Scheme.
The 11th Plan has been a significant ramp up of budgetary support for consumer awareness and protection. In the 11th Five Year Plan, the total allocation has significantly been revised upwards to Rs. 409 crores.
The slogan 'Jago Grahak Jago' has now become a household name as a result of publicity campaign undertaken in the last 4 years. Through the increased thrust on consumer awareness in the XI Five Year Plan, the Government has endeavoured to inform the common man of his rights as a consumer. As per of the consumer awareness scheme, the rural and remote areas have been given top priority.
The campaign has used all possible mediums that may be required to reach out to consumers in a vast country such as India as summarised below:
Publicity through Doordarshan
Doordarshan has a significant terrestrial reach. DD has been the biggest vehicle of medium for campaign under Jago Grahak Jago since it enables the Department to reach out to the focus areas in rural and remote areas of the country.
Publicity Through AIR
All India Radio provides a unique dimension of having access to almost 99% population and on account of easy portability of radio sets the medium provides an effective platform for reaching out to the migrant population and construction worker as well as labourers and farmers who often carry radio sets with them while they work in the field / construction sites.
Publicity Through FM Stations
FM has shown a rapid growth in the past decade and as more and more consumers are spending more time on commuting, FM as a medium of publicity has shown tremenous growth. Therefore, FM Stations of AIR as well as private FM Stations empaneled by DAVP have been suitably utilized as part of the publicity campaign under 'Jago Grahak Jago'.
Publicity Through print media using newspaper advertisements
Advertisements have been released through DAVP in national dailies as well as regional newspapers in local languages in accordance with the new advertisement policy of the DAVP. Each advertisement has been released through a network of more than 300 newspapers throughout the length and breadth of the country. Leading DAVP empanelled magazines have been used for the publicity. Publicity through electronic media by telecast of video spots
The Department has got produced video spots of 30 seconds duration on various consumer-related issues such as provisions of Consumer Protection Act, Banking Services, Medicines, Travel Services, Grievance Redressal System, MRP, ISI, Hall Mark etc., which are being telecast through Doordarshan, and Satellite channels such as Sony, Star Plus, Zee News, Star News, Doordarshan National Network, Kalyani programme of DD-I, Krishi Darhan, Regional Channels such as Sun Network, ETV Network, ZEE TV Network, Discovery, Sahara Network and other popular satellite channels. Special programmes have been telecast on Lok Sabha TV also to highlight the issues relating to consumer awareness. Issues pertaining to rural and remote areas have been given prominence in the various advertisement spots.
Telecast of video spots in north-east states
Doordarshan Kendras of North Eastern States to ensure that the message reaches out in the local language, the audio as well as video such as Assames, Khasi, Garo, Mizo, Manipuri, Naga, TRAI recommendation, Credit Cards, Real Estate issue etc. The AIR Kendras in northeastern region, private FM channels in the NE regions and the newspapers having editions in NE regions are being utilised for taking the campaign to north east. Special campaign has been carried out through the newspapers in the NE region.
The Department, in consultation with Department of Posts has disseminated consumer awareness messages through Meghdoot Postcards to reach far-flung rural areas including north-east states.
The Department has entered into a tie with Department of Post under which posters carrying messages pertaining to consumer awareness have been displayed in 1,55,000 rural Post Offices and more than 25,000 urban Post Offices in the country.
Use of Sports events
In order to reach maximum number of consumers, the Department has telecast video sports containing consumer related information during the popular sports events particularly the Cricket Series where the audience interest in maximum.
Use of Internet to Generate Consumer Awareness
We are a young country with more than 70% population being under 35 years. The youngsters are using the internet in a big way for various purposes and also happen to be major consumers. Realizing this, a major initiative is being taken to spread consumer awareness through the internet medium. All the print advertisements of the Department were also uploaded on the website of the Ministry, i.e., www.fcamin.nic.in.
Publicity through Outdoor Medium
To reach out to consumers in a vast country like India outdoor publicity has to be an integral part of any Multi Media Publicity Campaign. The mediums available through DAVP such as banners, hoardings, unipoles, metro panels, bus panels, railway tickets, reservation charts, Tirupati Access Cards, LCD Screens in Railway stations and Airports, neon sign boards in Railway Stations and Airports etc. were all suitably utilized for the publicity campaign.
Publicity through Conventional Medium
The campaign on consumer awareness has to necessarily focused on the youngsters as a target group. Accordingly, Nukkad Nataks were organized during the India International Trade Fair which attracted a large number of visitors. Posters/painting competitions were also organized in schools and colleges in Delhi on the topics relating to consumer issues. The Department also participated in exhibitions/Trade Fairs through stall, all over the country so that the large number of visitors who came to see these exhibitions/trade fairs could be utilized as a medium of communication. Publicity material in the form of pamphlets were also distributed during these stalls. Interactive Serial "Jago Grahak Jago"
In the 11th Five Year Plan, a new initiative was also taken through interactive TV Serial 'Jago Grahak Jago' for reaching out to North-Eastern Region and an interactive Radio Serial 'Jago Grahak Jago' through the vast network of All India Radio was also started. As part of the these serials, listeners were advised to send their queries to the National Consumer Helpline as well as through e-mail specially designed for receiving queries the listeners. These queries were then also included as part of the subsequent episodes in the programme and expert advise were also incorporated in the programmes.
Focus Areas on Consumer Awareness
The significant achievement of the 11th Plan had been to broadbase the publicity campaign. The Department started with the publicity on Core subjects/issues which are within the administration jurisdiction of the Department such as awareness of Consumer Protection Act, Grievances Redressal mechanism, Standardisation (ISI, Hall Mark etc.), Weights & Measures, Comparative Testing etc.
The print advertisements and Ad spots for the electronic media have focussed on such areas that are of interest to a large section of the society. Some of the examples are placed below:
= Issues relating to MRP wherein consumers have been educated about the concept of MRP and related issues.
= Awareness and education about standardisation and different standards brought about by the Government Departments such as ISI hall Mark, Agmark etc.
= Education and awareness about the various provisions of weights and measures.
= Issues in education sector where awareness about the source through which degress/validity of courses and recommendation status of different institutions has been given through print advertisements and Ad spots.
= Issues concerning banking sector to educate consumers about their rights to different services provided by the banking sector as well as the related areas of insurance sector and credit cards.
= Education and awareness about the 3-tier grievance redressal mechanism.
= Education and awareness about how to file a complaint, where to file a complaint and the format of the complaint letter etc.
= Issues relating to Tourism sector to make aware tourist about the precautions to be taken while dealing with travel agents.
= Awareness and education about misleading advertisements. In totality, efforts have been made to target all the major sectors where consumers faced problems and the Department has adopted an active approach to react immediately in case there is any advertisement in any of these sectors that directly affects consumers rights.
Joint Publicity Campaigns
The Department has substantially taken up the issues of consumer interests that pertain to other Government Departments / Ministries / Regulator authorities such as Telecommunication (TRAI), Banking (RBI and Indian Banks Association), Insurance (Insurance Regulatory Development Authority), Financial Services (Department of Financial Services, Ministry of Finance), Medicines (National Pharmaceutical Product Authority, Department of Pharmaceuticals), Real Estate (Ministry of Housing and Poverty Alleviation), Education (Ministry of HRD), Travel Services (Ministry of Railways, Ministry of Civil Aviation, Ministry of Tourism), Energy Saving (Bureau of Energy Efficiency), Financial inclusion (Indian Banks Association), Census (Registrar General of India), Aadhaar Numbers (UIDAI) and so on.
SPECIAL SCHEME ON ASSISTANCE TO STATE GOVERNMENTS/UTS:
Considering the fact that active involvement of State Governments in awareness campaign is crucial in taking forward the movement to rural, remote and backward areas, State/UT Governments have been actively associated in expanding the area of consumer awareness. In fact the effectiveness of the scheme is enhanced by the involvement of States/UTs/PRIs. The provision for grant in-aid/support to States / UTs has been one of the key components of the Consumer awareness scheme. The Department of Consumer Affairs provided publicity material such as posters, audio, video, folders, calendars, and magazines etc. to the State Governments/ UTs for distribution through panchayats in the rural areas.
National Consumer Helpline
The Department has launched National Helpline and the Toll Free Number 1800-11- 4000 which is being operated by Delhi University for counselling the Consumers to redress their grievaness. The toll free number facility is available to consumers from 9.30 A.M. to 5.30 P.M. on all working days (Monday-Saturday) and 011-27662955- 58 (Normal Call Charges apply). Through various advertisements pertaining to Department of Consumer Awareness, adequate publicity has been given to National Helpline so that the affected consumers could seek guidelines/counselling through the national helpline.
Maximum calls received from this Helpline are found to be related to telecom, courier, banking, insurance, financial service,s etc. On an average, 6000-7000 calls are received every month by the NCH from more than 25 States and UTs. The number of lines have been inceased from 8 to 12 in the month of February, 2011. Simultaneously the publicity around National Consumer Helplien has been inceased comprehensively through both the print and electronic media. This has resulted in a significant increase in the number of calls being handled by the National Consumer Helpline. The average number of calls being handled by National Consumer Helpline ranged form 4000 to 7000 till February, 2011. Since then, it has consistently remained about 10,000 per month which shows the increasing level of Consumer Awareness.
Consumer online Research and Empowerment (Core) Centre
A Consumer Online Research and Empowerment (CORE) Centre has been set up in collaboration with Consumer Coordination Council (CCC). The CORE Centre is intended to provide the most scientific and effective system of collection and dissemination of consumer related information to generate consumer awareness and empowerment of all sections of the society. It also provides e-counseling and mediation for consumer problems.
The Future Roadmap
The massive multi-media publicity to educate consumers and make them aware of their rights will have a long lasting impact not only on the end consumers but also of the entire manufacturing and services sector. The scheme will go a long way in introducing greater accountability and transparency in the services provided by the public as well as private sector since the end user i.e. consumer will be educated and aware enough to ask for best possible services in return for his hard-earned money. 'Jago Grahak Jago' is thus an initiative which empowers consumers by making them aware about their rights as well as about the Grievance Redressal Mechanism.
Consumer Welfare Funds
The Central Excise and Salt Act, 1944 was amended in 1991 to enable the Central Government ot create a Consumer Welfare Fund where the money which is not refundable to the manufacturers, etc. is being credited. Consumer Welfare Fund was created in 1992 with the objective of providing financial assistance to promote and protect the welfare of the consumer, create consumer awareness and strengthen Consumer Affairs operates the fund, set up by the Department of Revenue under the Central Excise and Salt Act, 1944.
The Consumer Welfare Funds rules were notified in the Gazette of India in 1992 and Guidelines were framedin 1993, Under the Consumer Welfare Fund Rules, any agency/organisation engaged in consumer welfare activities for a period of three years and registered under the Companies Act, 1956 or any other law for the time being in force, village/mandal/Samiti-level cooperative of consumers, industries State Government etc are eligible for seeking financial assistance from the Fund The advent of globalization, market economy has expanded areas that need intervention on behalf of the Government to protect the interest of consumers. Consumer Welfare fund Guidelines were accordingly revised in 2007 to suit to the present day requirements. So far, a sum of Rs. 122.16 crore has accrued to the fund and expenditure of Rs. 71.99 crores has been incurred. An amount of Rs. 4.91 crores has been utilized from the fund in 2008-09, R 10.04 crores during 2009-10 and Rs. 13.65 crores has been utilized from the fund of 2010-11.
Procedure for Sanction
The proposal for sanction of grant from CWF is scrutinized in the administrative section and those that are found not suitable are rejected on initial scrutiny. Those, which are considered viable, are then submitted for examination by an Appraisal Committee under Joint Secretary (CA) which recommends/rejects/seeks clarification from them and submits its report for approval of the Standing Committee of CWF to take a final view regarding the suitability of the project. The organization/institution is also given an opportunity to make a presentation before the senior officers of the Department, if found necessary. Proposals are finally approved by the CWF Standing Committee under the Chairmanship of Secretary (CA), After approval of the Standing Committee, sanctions are issued with the concurrence of the IF Division.
Presently the following schemes are being administered from Consumer Welfare Fund.
Setting up of consumer product testing laboratories
Under this scheme, projects have been sanctioned to:
a) A project for comparative testing of products and services has been sanctioned to VOICE society, New Delhi. The focus of the project is as under:
= Utilising existing NABL accredited laboratories in India for comparative testing of various categories of products.
= Publishing and popularizing consumer magazine containing consumer related subjects to create informed consumer.
= To facilitate in developing & upgrading of National Standards based on scientific data and consumer preferences.
This project was sanctioned for 2 years at a cost of Rs. 225.50 lakh. Under this project, 10 products and 2 services were tested during each year. Test reports on 20 products and 4 services has since been published. An interim grant of Rs. 76.76 lakh has been sanctioned to the VOICE society for testing 6 products and one service. The second phase of the project started from November 2010 at a cost of Rs. 2.70 crores for 3 years.
b) Federation of Consumer Association West Bengal for upgradation of Food and water testing laboratory with NABL, Accreditation at a cost of Rs. 2.08 Crores. c) Rs. 50 lakh sanctioned to Council for Fair Business Practice, Mumbai as one time non recurring grant for upgrading existing Ramakrishna Bajaj testing lab in SNDT Women's Universite Mumbai.
d) Consumer Education Research Centre, Ahmedabad for upgradation of their testing lab with NABL accreditation at a cost of Rs. 2.18 crore.
e) Concert was granted an amount of Rs. 333.70 lakh for 2 years for comparative Testing of products and services. Under the project, CONCERT will undertake comparative testing./evaluation of at least 7 products and 3 services per year.
f) Govt. of Kerala was provided a grant-in-aid of Rs. 25.44 lakh for upgrading their existing Gold Purity Testing Laboratory.
Setting up of Consumer Clubs in School/Colleges: This scheme was launched in 2002, according to which a consumer club can be set up in each Middle/High/ Higher Secondary School/College affiliated to a Government recognised Board or University. A grant of Rs. 10,000/- per consumer club is admissible under the scheme. This scheme has been decentralized and transferred to the Government of State/UTs w.e.f. from 1.4.2004. Proposals can be submitted under the scheme to the Nodal Officer in the Food, PD & Consumer Affairs Department of the respective States/UTs by eligible organisations/VCOs. Funds are transferred to the Nodal Officer in the State on receipt of the list of schools from the State. So far, 7149 consumer clubs have been sanctioned in 22 States. An amount of Rs. 115 lakhs was released in 2008-09, Rs. 105 lakhs in 2009-2010 and Rs. 10 lakh in 2010-11.
Scheme on promoting involvement of Research Institutions/Universities
Colleges etc. This scheme has been launched in 2004 with a view to sponsor research and evaluation studies in the field of consumer welfare to provide solution to the practical problem being faced by the consumers to sponsor seminars/workshops/ conferences on the consumer and to have necessary inputs for formulation of policy/ programme/scheme for the protection and welfare of consumers. Indian Institute of Public Administration has been appointed as consultant under the scheme to the Department of Consumer Affairs. A total grant of Rs. 381 lakh was sanctioned to IIPA during the 1st phase and the second phase of the project has been sanctioned in 2009 for 3 years at a cost of Rs. 2.08 crores.
==Creation of Chair/Centres of excellence in Institutions/Universities a) A chair on Consumer Law and Practice was sanctioned in 2007-08 to National School of India University (NLSUI), Bangalore at a cost of r90,00,000 with the objective of the Chair to act as a "think Tank" for the research and policy related issues on Consumer Law and Practice.
b) A Centre of consumer studies was also sanctioned in 2007-08 to IIPA, New Delhi at an estimated cost of Rs. 850.77 lakhs spread over a period of five year for in-depth action research in the areas of consumer protection, training of personnel engaged in administration and adjudication of consumer justice in countyr elected representative of the local bodies etc.
c) An amount of r94.45 lakh sanctioned to National Law Institute University (NLIU), Bhopal for establishing chair professorship in Consumer Protection and Consumer Welfare.
d) The Tamil Nadu Dr. Ambedkar Law University, Chennai has been sanctioend an amount of Rs. 94.45 Lakhs for creating Chair of Excellence of Consumer Law and Jurisprudence.
Involvement of Trade/Industries. Federation of Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industries (FICCI) has been sanctioned a grant of Rs. 356 lakhs for establishment of FICCI Alliance for Consumer Care (FACC) for setting up of a mechanism and providing platform for facilitating prompt redressal of consumer complainet through voluntary self-regulation of consumer education.
Information, Education and Communication programmes for consumer awareness. VCOs/NGOs are provided financial assistance under this scheme to spread Consumer awareness & responsibilities.
Setting up of Complaint handling/Counselling/guidance mechanism
a) National Consumer Helpline is a landmark project set up in collaboration with the Delhi University at a cost of Rs. 3.13 Crore. Consumers from anywhere in the country can dial the toll free number 1800-11-4000 and seek advice in all areas of consumer interest and sort out thei grievane. Delhi University has been granted an amount of Rs. 378 lakh for the second phase of the National Consumer Helpline.
b) Consumer online Resource & Empowerment (CORE) Centre project is an initiative taken by the Ministry towards web based Consumer Awareness & Protection programme aimed at identification of consumer problem and their redresal through institutional approach and utilizing the vibrant information technology method is another project sanctioned under the scheme. The project has been sanctioned with a total budgetary outlay of Rs. 3.50 crore spread over a period of five years.
c) A project was sanctioned to FICCI at a cost of Rs. 58.30 lakh for setting up of mediation Advisory Centre under PPP model with support from Department of Consumer Affairs, GIZ and FICCI.
a) Two projects for training programmes have been sanctioned to Govt. of Tamil Nadu.
i) Project for conduction of training programmes in the field of consumer protection for the benefits of self help groups and consumers in 31 district of Tamil Nadu at a total cost of Rs. 69.91 lakhs.
ii) Proposal for orientation-cum-training programme for State Govt officials and other stakeholders of consumer rights which is having a duration period for 2 years at the total cost of Rs. 21.84 lakhs.
b) A project proposal for organizing workshop-cum-training programme for housewives for on-the-spot test to detect common adulterants in foods in eight district of Chennai in Tamil Nadu at a cost of Rs. 29.74 lakhs was sanctioned to CONCERT, Chennai. The second phase of the project has been evaluated through IIPA and the 3rd phase of the project will be started soon.
Assistance to States/UTs. In order to promote consumer movement throughout the country, the State Governments and Union Territory Administrations have been impressed upon to create their own consumer welfare fund. For strengthening financial support, seed money is provided to States/UTs at the ratio of 50:50. This ratio has been further enhanced to 90:10 in the case of 13 special category States. The scheme has been enhanced with a big amount of Rs. 10 crore as Corpus Fund by the central govt. as central share in the ratio of 75:25 (Centre: State). In case of special category States, the ratio will be 90:10 (Centre: State).
State Consumer helpline is a new plan scheme to set up State consumer Helplines on similar lines as National Consumer HelpLines which will be a partnership effort between States and active VCOs of the States. These helplines will extend service in the regional language of the State concerned and in Hindi and English. Eventually, these State Helplines will be networked with National Consumer Helpline so as to make use of the data base and experience already available. So far, 24 States/UTs have been sanctioned funds to set up Consumer Helplines.
The overall availability and prices of essential commodities have generally remained satisfactory during the year 2010-11 except for rice, wheat, atta, gram dal, milk, edible oils, potato and onion. Government has given high priority to containing the rise in prices of essential commodities at reasonable level. Prices of 22 essential commodities are being closely monitored and reviewed. Commodities which are in short supply such as edible oil and pulses are being imported to supplement the domestic availability. In terms of Consumer Price Index for Industrial Workers (CPI-IW), the annual inflation rate for the year ending 2010-11 was lower at 9.98% as compared to 12.37% in 2009-10.
During the year 2010-11, the retail and wholesale prices of 22 essential commodities viz., rice, whet, atta, gram dal, arhar dal, masoor dal, moong dal, urad dal, groundnut oil, mustard oil, vanaspati, soya oil, sunflower oil, palm oil, sugar, salt, tea, potato, onion, gur, milk and tomato across 49 centres were regularly monitored by the Department of Consumer Affairs on a daily basis. The Cabinet Committee on Prices (CCP) and Committee of Secretaries (COS) reviewed the prices and availability position of essential commodities at regular intervals, based on the agenda note on 'General Prices Situation and availability of essential Commodities' prepared by the Price Monitoring Cell (PMC) of the Department of Consumer Affairs. The CCP and COS met periodically to review the price and availability scenario of essential commodities and directed concerned Ministries/ Departments to take appropriate and necessary remedial action.
Movements in the Wholesale Price Index (WPI) during 2010-11 (April 2010 - March 2011) indicated that WPI of Manufactured Products was 6.26%, while the WPI of Fuel, Power, Light & Lubricants increased to 12.27%. In the case of Primary Articles, it was 17.74% during the period 2010-2011 under review.
COMMODITYWISE PRICE TRENDS
The WPI of Cereals increased by 5.26% during 2010-11 mainly due to increase of 4.47% in Bajra, 5.86% in Rice, 10.17% in Maize, 12.42% in Jowar and 2.98% in wheat. The increase in the prices of rice and wheat was largely due to a hike in the Minimum Support Price (MSP). Production of rice and wheat were higher at 94.11 million tonnes and 84.27 million tonnes during 2010-11 as compared to 89.09 million tonnes and 80.80 million tonnes respectively in the previous year.
The Wholesale Price Index (WPI) of pulses exhibited an increase of (3.19%) during 2010-11. Among individual items, increase was recorded by moong (19.94%), urad (18.96%), while in the case of masur (-14.77%) arhar (-4.49%) and gram (-1.44%) prices witnessed decline during the period under review. According to 3rd Advance Estimates, the production of pulses during 2010-11 is estimated at 17.29 million tonnes as compared to 14.66 million tonnes during 2009-10. The gap in the demand and availability of the commodity is being bridged through imports.
The Wholesale Price Index (WPI) of edible oils increased by 5.42% during 2010-11 as compared to -5.89% last year. According to 3rd Advance Estimates 2010-11, the production of edible oilseeds has been estimated at 30.25 million tonnes as compared to the production of 24.88 million tonnes in 2009-10. Among major edible oils, WPI of mustard oil increased by 0.89%, groundnut oil by 13.63%, Vanaspati by 8.46%, respectively during the period under review. During the current oil year 2010-11 (November 2010-April 2011), 34.82 lakh tonnes of edible oils have been imported in the country as against 40.89 lakh tonnes during the corresponding period of 2009-10, which is about 15% less than the imports during the corresponding period of 2009- 10.
The Wholesale Price Index (WPI) of sugar stood at (-) 1.06% during 2010-11 as compared to 53.66% last year. The production of sugarcane, as per the 3rd Advance Estimates of production for 1010-11 is estimated to be higher at 340.54 million tonnes compared to 292.30 million tonnes in 2009-10.
The Wholesale Price Index (WPI) of onion increased by 27.06% during the year 2010- 11 as compared to 14.93% last year. Vegetable prices are subjected to variations depending on the availability and seasonal factors. NHRDF has estimated the total onion production for 2010-11 at 130 lakh tonnes, 6.6% higher than the last year (Source: NHRDF).
The Wholesale Price Index (WPI) of potato stood at (-) 36.02% during the year 2010- 11. The potato production in the current year 2010-11 is expected to be higher by about 10-12% as compared to last year. In Uttar Pradesh, around 96 lakhs MT, in West Bengal around 50 lakh MT and in Punjab around 14 lakh MT potatoes were stored in cold storages. (Source: NHRDF).
The Prices and availability of tea in the country remained satisfactory. The WPI of tea stood at -14.79% during 2010-11 as compared to 13.61% during 2009-10 for thee period under review.
Steps taken by the Government to contain price rise in essential Commodities are listed below:
(A) Short term Measures
(i) Reduced import duties to zero–for rice, wheat, onion, pulses, edible oils (crude) and to 7.5% for refined & hydrogenated oils & vegetable oils.
(ii) Duty under Tariff Rate Quota for Skimmed Milk Power (SMP) reduced from 15% to 5% for import upto an aggregate of 10000 metric tonnes in a financial year.
(iii) Import of 30000 tonnes of Milk Powder and 15000 tonnes of Milk Fat at Zero duty allowed to NDDB during 2010-11.
(iv) Allowed Import of raw sugar and white/refined sugar at zero duty under O.G.L. up to 31.3.2011.
(i) Removed levy obligation in respect of all imported raw sugar and white/ refined sugar.
(ii) Banned export of non-basmati rice and wheat until further orders, edible oils (except coconut oil and forest based oil) and pulses (except Kabuli chana and organic pulses) upto a maximum of 10000 tonnes per year.
(iii) Export of edible oils permitted in branded consumer packs of upto 5 kgs subject to a limit of 10,000 tonnes for one year.
(iv) Effected no change in Tariff Rate Values of edible oils;
(v) Extended stock limit orders in the case of pulses, paddy and rice, edible oil, edible oilseeds and sugar.
(vi) Used Minimum Export Price (MEP) to regulate exports of onion and basmati rice;
(vii) Maintained the Central Issue Price (CIP) for rice (at Rs. 5.65 per kg for BPL and r3 per kg for AAY) and wheat (at Rs. 4.15 per kg for BPL and Rs. 2 per kg for AAY) since 2002.
(viii) Suspension of Futures trading in Rice, Urad and Tur by the Forward Market Commission in the year 2007-08 continues during 2010-11. Futures trading in sugar were suspended w.e.f. 27.5.2009 upto 30.9.2010.
(ix) Proportion of sugar production requisitioned as levy sugar was increased from 10 to 20% for 2009-10 sugar seasons. However, for 2010-11 sugar season, the levy obligation has been reduced to 10%.
(x) For the month of March, 2011, 16.84 lakh tons of non-levy sugar and 0.34 lakh tons of sugar processed from imported raw sugar and 3.50 lakh tonnes is estimated availability out of Feb, 2011 non-levy quota which has been extended upto 15.03.2011. Besides, levy sugar quota of 2.02 lakh tonnes also been released. Thus, for the month of March, 2011, 18.86 lakh tonnes of sugar have been made available.
(xi) An additional allocation of wheat/rice @ 10 kg/family/month of January and February 2010 was made to the accepted number of AAY, BPL and APL ration cards. This is in addition to existing allocation while wheat was allocated at MSP price of Rs. 10800 per tonnes; rice was allotted at MSP derived price of r15373.10 per tonne for Grade A.
(xii) Specific ad hoc Additional allocation of 30.66 lakh tonnes of foodgrains has been made for all cardholders on 19.5.2010 with validity for lifting upto 20.11.2010@ of Rs. 8.45 per kg for wheat and Rs. 11.85 per kg for rice.
(xiii) An additional allocation of 4.57 lakh tonnes of foodgrains per month for APL families at the prevailing APL CIP made on 2.8.2010. This is applicable initially for a period of six months to those States where APL allocations were below 15 kg per family per month.
(xiv) 25 lakh tonnes of food grains have also been allocated in September 2010 to all States/UTs for distribution to BPL families at BPL issue price during six months period from September 2010.
(xv) Further 25 lakh tonnes of food grains have been allocated on 6.1.2011 to all States/UTs for BPL families at BPL issue prices for distribution during January to June 2011.
(xvi) An additional ad hoc allocation of 25 lakh tonnes of foodgrains has been made on 6.1.2011 to all States/UTs for APL families @ Rs. 8.45 per kg for wheat and Rs. 11.85 per kg for rice for distribution during January to June 2011.
(xvii) In addition, allocation to State Governments are made under OMSS interventions.
(xviii) Extended the current dispensation for PSUs to import pulses against reimbursement up to 15% of losses and service charge of 1.2% of cif value up to 31.3.2011.
(xix) The Scheme for distribution of subsidized imported pulses through State Governments/UTs with subsidy of Rs. 10/- kg for distribution to BPL families @ 1 kg per month. The Scheme is in force upto 31.3.2012. (xx) Experimented with popularization of yellow Peas through sale in the Retail Outlets of NAFED, Kendriya Bhandar, NCCF and Mother Dairy in Delhi.
(xxi) The Scheme for distribution of subsidized imported edible oils through State Governments/UTs with subsidy of r15/- kg distribution to ration card holders @ 1 litre per ration card per month. The Scheme is in force upto 31.03.2011.
(xxii) Export of Onion (all varieties) including Bangalore rose onions and Krishnapuram onions fresh or chilled, frozen, provisionally prepared or dried but excluding onion cut, sliced or broken in power form is not permitted w.e.f. 22nd December, 2010. The ban on export of Onions lifted w.e.f. 18th February, 2011.
(xxiii) Full exemption from basic custom duty has been provided to onions and shallets with effect from 21st December, 2010. Consequently, these item would also be exempt from special additional duty of 4%, education cess and secondary and higher education cess. The exemption is open ended and does not carry a validity clause prescribing a terminal date.
(xxiv) NAFED and NCCF are selling Onion at reduced prices from their retail outlets in Delhi.
(xxv) Review of the price situation and steps taken by State Governments was done through video conference with Chief Secretaries of all states. Several State Governments have been intervening in the market through cooperatives/ farmers's markets.
(xxvi) Reimbursement of losses of NAFED/NCCF on sales of onion, with a cap on the losses at 30% of landed cost for a period of one month up to 31.1.2011. Both agencies will continue to procure onions and sell in Delhi and other centres without any subsidy beyond 31.1.2011.
(xxvii) A conference of CMs was held on 06.02.2010, which was presided over by the Prime Minister to consider measures to insulate the poor and vulnerable from adverse price movements. As a follow up, a Core Group of some CMs and concerned Central Ministers met under the charimanship of Hon'ble Prime Minister on 08.04.2010 and recommended inter alia setting up a Working Group on Consumer Affairs (under the Chairmanship of CM Gujarat with CMs of Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra as its Members) to suggest strategic plan of action for reducing the gap between farmgate and retail prices and recommend measures for amendment and better implementation of the Essential Commodities Act, 1955.
These include the improvement of distributional efficiency, reducing intermediation costs, promoting State intervention for retailing essential commodities at reasonable prices and enforcement of Statutory provisions with a view a meeting both short and long term goals.
Medium Term Measures
In the medium term, Government has taken initiatives such as the National Food security Mission (NFSM), Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana (RKVY) to improve production and productivity in agriculture.
Weight & Measures
One of the important reforms undertaken in the country after Independence was the standardization of the system in weights and measures. Uniform standards of weights and measures, based in the metric system, were established in the country, under the Standards of Weight and Measures Act, 1956.
In order to establish thee international system of units and to align our laws with international practices as well as to remove certain deficiencies, a comprehensive legislation, namely, the Standards of Weights and Measures Act, 1976 was enacted, replacing the 1956 Act.
The 1976 Act contained among other things, provisions for regulation of prepacked commodities sold to consumer so as to establish fair trading practices. Provisions of the Act relating to packaged commodities and the relevant rules, namely, the Standards of Weights and Measures (packaged Commodities) Rules, 1977 were brought into force, since September 1977. According to these provisions, every package intended for retail sale is required to carry information as regards the regards the name of the commodity, name and address of manufacturer or packer, net quantity, month and year of manufacture/packing and retail price. Mandatory declaration of retail price is to be given in the form "MRP Rs. Inclusive of all taxes".
The entire Rules were reviewed to make it simple and transparent and amended vide notification GSSR 425 (E) dated 17.7.2006. In the interest of consumer, inter alia, following new provisions have been incorporated.
1. Retail dealers covered under Value added Tax (VAT) and Turn Over Tax (TOT) and dealing in packaged commodities whose net content is by weight or volume or a combination thereof have to maintain appropriate electronic weighing instrument with facility to issue printed receipt of the weight of packages free of cost so that consumers can check the weight of packaged commodities purchased from the shop.
2. Every package shall bear names & address, Tel. no., e-mail (if available) of the person or the office which can be contacted in case of consumer complaints.
3. Tolerances applicable to some of the commodities have been rationalized.
4. The rules have provision for regulation of packaged commodities imported into India similar to that for indigenous packages.
Under the provisions of the 1976 Act, the models of all weighing and measuring instruments should have approval of the Central Govt, before commencement of their production. Under the relevant rules, namely, the Standards of Weights and Measures (Approval of Models) Rules, 1987, recognized laboratories examine models for their conformity to the standards. These Rules are in force since.
To ensure uniformity in the matter of enforcement in the country, a Central Act, namely, the Standards of Weights and Measures (Enforcement) Act, 1985 was brought into force. It contains provisions for effective legal control on weights, measures and weighing & measuring instruments used.
The Legal Metrology Act, 2009 has been published in the official Gazette of India on 14.1.10. The new Act will replace the existing two Acts on Weights and Measures. The new Act makes system more transparent, like outsourcing of verification activities of some of the sophisticated weights and measures and for uniform enforcement across the country. The act and six new rules under the act came into force on 01.04.2011.
India is a member of the international Organization of Legal Metrology (OIML). This Organization was set up in order to realize world wide uniformity in laws relating to legal metrology (weights and measure) and to make international trade smooth and practical.
Legal standards of Weights and Measures of the States and Union Territories are verified in the five Regional Reference Standards Laboratories (RRSL) located at Ahmedabad, Bhubaneswar, Bangalore, Faridabad and Guwahati. These laboratories also provide calibration services to the industries in their respective regions. They are among the recognized laboratories for conducting the model approval tests on weights and measuring instruments. RRSL Faridabad has been accredited under NABL scheme in mass measurement. The RRSL at Guwahati established to cater to the needs of North Eastern States, commenced working from the new premises in 2009.
The Department formulated two Schemes during XI Plan, namely, Strengthening of Weights & Measures of the States and Union Territories and Strengthening of Regional Reference Standards Laboratories (RRSLs) and India Institute of Legal Metrology (IILM), Ranchi.
The plan allocation during 2009-12 was Rs. 143.286 crore. Under this scheme Grant-in-aid of amount Rs. 38.37 crore was issued to 24 States/UTs for the construction of Secondary/Working Standards Laboratories. 31 Mobile kits for testing weighbridges and sets of Secondary/Working Standard Balances, Capacity measures etc. costing Rs. 36.98 crore have been supplied to various States and UTs.
The total outlay to the plan Scheme "Strengthening of Regional Reference Standards Laboratories (RRSLs) and Indian Institute of Legal Metrology (IILM), Ranchi" was Rs. 23.1 crores and approx 18 crores has been utilized. The mass comparators have been provided to RRSL & IILM, Ranchi. The electrical simulators & G-TEM have been given to RRSLs costing approximately Rs. 6 crore.
National Physical Laboratory (NPL), New Delhi has fabricated and installed the new testing facilities for Torque and Force measurement at RRSLs. Another new facility for flow measurement has been installed at RRSL Ahmedabad and construction of flow measurement laboratory will be completed at RRSL, Bhubaneswar, Faridabad and Bangalore will be completed by 2011.
The Department is organizing training programs for capacity building of enforcement officials for effective implementation of Weight and Measures laws. During first quarter of 2011, sixty officers of States, UTs & RRSLs were trained at NPL, New Delhi for testing of mass, volume, length & density.
The Indian Institute of Legal Metrology (IILM), Ranchi imparts training to the enforcement officials of States/UTs. The institute conducts workshops and seminars on various topics of legal metrology to extend the knowledge of the enforcement officers on the latest developments in the field of legal metrology. The institute trains around 200 personnel in a year on an average. Institute has received five mass comparator of special accuracy class.
The Indian Institute of Management (IIM) Calcutta conducted a study to make Indian institute of Legal Metrology, Ranchi as centre of excellence. The report has been examined by the Department and steps are being taken to develop Institute as a Centre for Excellence. In this financial year 2010-11, Rs. 3.5 crore has been marked for development of Infrastructure. The renovation work is in progress.
Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG)
BUREAU OF INDIAN STANDARDS
Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) came into existence, on 1 April 1987, through an Act of Parliament dated 26 November 1986. It took over the staff, assets, liabilities and functions of the erstwhile Indian Standards Institution (ISI) with an enlarged scope and enhanced powers for harmonious development of activities of standardization, marking and quality certification of goods and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto.
To be the leader in all matters concerning Standardization, Certification and Quality.
In order to attain this, BIS is committed to provide efficient and timely service to satisfy the customer's need for quality of goods and service, and to work and act in such a way that each task performed as individuals or as corporate entity, leads to excellence and enhances the credibility and image of the organization.
BIS will dedicate itself to achieve excellence through effective implementation of The Bureau of Indian Standards Act, 1986 and by providing prompt and efficient services to all concerned.
Keeping in view the interest of consumers as well as the Industry, BIS is involved in numerous activities like Standard Formulation, Product Certification, Hallmarking, System Certification, providing Laboratory Services, etc.
BIS formulates Indian Standards for various sectors that have been grouped under 14 Departments like Chemicals, Food and Agriculture, Civil, Electrotechnical Electronics & Information Technology, Mechanical Engineering, Management & Systems, Metallurgical Engineering, Petroleum, Coal and related Products, Medical Equipment and Hospital Planning, Textile, Transport Engineering, Production & General Engineering and Water Resources. Corresponding to these Departments, fourteen Division Councils exist. Each has a number of Sectional Committees working under it. 18610 standards are in force (as on 31 March 2011). The standards cover important segments of economy and help the industry in upgrading the quality of their goods and services. The Indian Standards formulated are in line with the National priorities.
Product Certification Scheme
The Product Certification Scheme is voluntary in nature. However, in public interest GOI has notified 81 articles (as on 31 March 2011) for mandatory conformance to the relevant Indian Standard. This means that these articles have to mandatorily carry the BIS Standard Mark and the mark can be used only under a license from BIS, Mandatory conformity to Indian Standards can be impsed under various Statutory Provisions like The essential Commodities Act, 1955; Indian Explosives Act, 1884; The Environment (Protection) Act, 1986; The Prevention of Food Adulteration Act, 1954; The BIS Act, 1986 etc. Some examples of items under mandatory certification are milk power, packaged drinking water, LPG cylinders, clinical thermometers, cement, etc.
As on 31 March 2011, 24145 certification marks licenses were in operation under the Scheme, covering 1045 different items ranging from food products to electronics.
Since 1999, BIS is operating two schemes for certification of imported goods - one for foreign manufactures and the other for Indian importers. Under the first scheme, i.e., Foreign Manufacturers Certification Scheme (FMCS), foreign manufacturers can seek certification from BIS for marking their product with BIS Standard Mark before exporting to India and in the second one Indian importers can seek BIS certification for applying BIS Standard Mark on the product being imported into the country. In case of products covered under mandatory BIS certification, provision exists for issuing licenses under FMCS only to foreign manufacturers. In case of the products covered under madatory BIS certification, provision exists for issue of licenses to foreign manufacturers as well as to India importers. Under the FMCS, 169 licenses in different countries were in operation as on 31 March 2011.
To support certification activities, BIS has 8 laboratories. These laboratories have testing facilities in chemical, food, electrical and mechanical and civil engineering disciplines. 19282 test reports were issued by BIS laboratories during the period 1st April 2010 to 31st March 2011. In cases where it is not economically feasible to develop certain test facilities in the BIS laboratories or for other reasons like overloading of samples, equipment becoming non-functional, etc., services of recognized outside laboratories, accredited by NABL (National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories), are availed. As on 31 March 2011, services of 115 outside laboratories are being utilised by BIS.
The scheme for Hallmarking of Gold Jewellery was launched in April 2000. The objective of the scheme is to protect consumer interest by providing third party assurance to the consumers about the purity of gold in jewellery/artefacts. The scheme for Hallmarking of silver jewellery / artefacts was launched in October 2005.
Under the scheme, BIS recognises Assaying and Hallmarking centres which are authorised to hallmark the gold and silver jewellery/artefacts after determining the purity of the precious metal. The jewellers, licensed by BIS for this purpose, can get their jewellery/arftefacts hallmarked from these Centres after the same has been checked for its purity. As on 31 March 2011, 160 Assaying and Hallmarking centres have been recognized and as many as 8561 licenses (Gold-8098 & Silver-463) were in operation. The list of the BIS recognized Assaying and Hallmarking centres and the list of the jewellers who have obtained BIS license for hallmarking are available on the BIS website (www.bis.org.in).
MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS CERTIFICATION
For Management Systems Certification, BIS operates a number of system certification schemes.
The Quality Management System Certification Scheme (QMSCS) has been in operation since September 1991 and under it, BIS grants licences to organisations for conforming to IS/ISO 9001. Grant of such licence to an organisation assures that it has the ability to produce and deliver quality goods and services consistently. BIS's Quality Management System Certificaiton is accredited by Raad voor Accreditatie (RvA), Netherlands for 26 major economic activities. As on 31 March 2011, licences to 876 organisations were in operation under this scheme. This includes 51 licences under the Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point Certification (HACCP) that is integrated with ISO 9001.
Under the Environmental Management System Certification Scheme (EMSCS), BIS grants licences to Organisations for conforming to IS/ISO 14001. It is accredited by RvA for 4 sectors and on 31 March 2011, 159 licenses were in operation under it. Under the Occupational Health & Safety Management Systems Certification Scheme (OH&SMSCS), BIS grants licences to Organisations fro conforming to IS 18001. Though not yet accredited but as on 31 March 2011, 49 licenses granted by BIS were in operation under it.
BIS has developed the Indian Standard IS 15700:2005 "Quality Management System - Requirements for Service Quality by Public Service Organizations" with a view to ensuring minimum standards of service delivery by public service organizations. Government of India has decided to implement this standard in the first phase in the offices of ten GOI departments. Demand from BIS for granting its licences to various Government offices of Central Excise and Customs Department has lately been on the rise. Some State Governments like Rajasthan, Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh, etc. have also decided to implement this Indian Standard with a view to bringing increased accountability of an transparency in its offices. Though as on 31 March 2011, only four licenses had been granted, but in times to come, demand for grant of licences for this standard is expected to go up considerably.
BIS carries out enforcement activity to curb the use of Standard Mark or its imitation by unscrupulous traders and manufacturers not holding valid BIS license. Such action also helps consumers from being mislead about quality of products that are marked with the BIS Standard Mark, Enforcement raids, which include search and seizure operations, are carried out against traders and manufacturers on the basis of intelligence collected regarding misuse of the standard Mark and, where required, prosecution cases are filed in court of law. 135 search and seizure operations were carried out during the period 1st April 2010 to 1st March 2011.
BIS, in its capacity as National Standards Body of India, is member of International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and International Electro-technical Commission (IEC). It is actively involved in development of international standards by acting as Participating (P) member or Observer (O) Member on various Technical Committees, Sub-Committees, Working Groups, etc. The existing position is that it is a P member in 299 Technical committees/ Subcommittees of ISO and 76 Technical Committees/ Subcommittees of IEC, and an O Member in 307 Technical Committees/ Subcommittees of ISO and 81 Technical Committees/Subcommittees of IEC. Such participation by BIS in the development of International Standards helps in protecting the interests of Indian trade & industry.
BIS also participates in various policy-making committees of these international standards bodies and holds the secretariat of some important ISO Committees dealing with subjects that are of trade interest to India.
BIS is scheduled to host the next ISO General Assembly Meeting in Sept. 2011 at New Delhi. Besides, BIS is also actively involved in the Regional and Bilateral Cooperation Programmes pertaining to standardization, conformity assessment & accreditation. It has signed MoU/MRA with 19 countries/organizations including ISO.
BIS has been designated as WTO/TBT Enquiry Point by the Ministry of Commerce, Govt. of India under the Technical Barriers to Trade Agreement of the World Trade Organization.
To ensure that focus regarding consumer interest is not lost, BIS has a separate department which is responsible for consumer protection its welfare and for addressing public grievances. Through this department, BIS liaises with Central Consumer Protection Council, consumer associations and co-ordinates with the Ministry of Consumers Affairs and Public distribution regarding issues of consumer interest. Such activities are guided by the Consumer Policy Advisory Committee which advises BIS on all policy matters relating to efficient discharge of functions and also for making standardization and certification activities consumer-friendly.
A Procedure for handling complaints has been developed and is under implementation. Complaints can also be lodged online and are monitored on regular basis.
Consumer Awareness Programmes
Implementation of Indian Standards is extremely important and has been one of the major objectives of BIS. For achieving this objective, BIS regularly organizes Awareness programmes through its various Offices. These Awareness Programmes are at times organised jointly with Consumer Organizations. During the peirod 1st April 2010 to 31st March 2011, 129 such programmes were conducted.
Educational Utilization of Standards Programmes (EUS)
Need exists to train the students and faculty of professional institutions in the field of standardization and management systems. For this purpose, BIS regularly conducts the programmes 'Educational Utilization of Standards' with the objective to propagate the importance of standardization and create awareness about Indian Standards in various professional institutes and universities throughout the country. Special kits of Reference Material pertaining to the specialized fields are distributed to participants in such programmes. During the period 1st April 2010 to 31st March 2011, 5 such programmes were conducted.
Industry Awareness Programmes
To propagate the concept of standardization and management systems amongst the small scale industries, Industry Awareness Programmes are organized by BIS. Such programs consist of lectures and discussions, wherein participants are exposed to the concept of standardization, management systems certification, product certification and the other activities of BIS. Such programmes also discuss about various standards relating to specific industrial sector in an area. Very often, such programmes are organized in collaboration with the Local Industries Associations as also the Small Industries Service Institute of the area. During the period 1st April 2010 to 31st March 2011, 2 such Programmes were conducted.
Information and SSI Facilitation Cell
BIS operates and Information and Small Scale Industries Facilitation Cell for the benefit of small and medium scale entrepreneurs. The Cell provides informtion on various activities of BIS and also answers to the technical queries.
Rajiv Gandhi National Quality Award
With a view to encouraging manufacturers and service organizations to strive for excellence, Rajiv Gandhi National Quality Award was instituted by the Bureau in 1991. This annual award compares well with similar international awards, such as, Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award of US and European Quality Award. The assessment for this award is made on the basis of parameters, like Leadership; Policies, Objectives and Strategies; Human Resource Management; Resources, Processes; Customer Focused; Employees' Satisfaction; Business results and Impact on environment and society.
National Institute of Training for Standardization (NITS)
To impart training to technical and management personnel from industry, consumer organizations, public sector undertakings, govt. bodies and developing countries, BIS maintains and runs the National Institute of Training for Standardization (NITS). It conducts training on different Management Systems including Laboratory Management System. The institute also conducts international training programmes for developing countries in 'Standardization and Quality Assurance' and 'Management Systems'. During the period 1st April 2010 to 31st March 2011, 50 International Trainees were trained. NITS have started international training Programmes for developing countries in 'Laboratory Quality Management systems'. During the period 1st April 2010 to 31st March 2011, 31 International Trainees were trained. NITS also conducts training programmes for the BIS employees.
Library, Sale of Standards & Information services
Under the Information Services, BIS's Technical Library is considered the National resource centre for information on standards and related matters and meets the needs of industry, trade, government, researchers and consumers. It is today the the largest library of standards in the South Asian Region. It's collection includes about 6 lakh standards from all over the world and 70,000 technical books. The Bureau's library system consists of the Headquarters' Library (New Delhi) and four Regional Office Libraries at Mumbai, Kolkata, Chandigarh and Chennai. BIS sells its Standards in hard copies as well as through internet.
BIS has a website with domain name http://www.bis.org.in. The includes the Hindi version accessible through a link. Information that is of interest to the Indian industry and consumers in respect of various activities and schemes of the Bureau like the certification scheme, standards formulation, consumer affairs, application forms, laboratory services, other support services, etc. are all available on the website. Programmes under XIth Five Year Plan
Under XIth Five year plan, BIS has taken up the centrally sponsored schemes on "National System for Standardization", "Human Resource Development/Capacity Building in Educational Institutions", "Consumer Education & Training, HRD & Capacity Building" & "Hallmarking of Gold Jewellery" for consumer protection.
Finance & Accounts
For over twenty years, BIS is self-reliant in meeting its non-plan expendutre without any budgetary support from the govt. of India. Financial resources of BIS are broadly mobilized under the following heads:
(a) Product Certification
(b) Management System Certification
(d) Sale of BIS Standards and Publications
(e) Training Institute.
NATIONAL TEST HOUSE
The National Test House (NTH) was established, almost about a century ago (1912) under the then Railway Board, mainly to cater to the needs of the Railways in India by making the Indian Railway less dependent on supplies from abroad. The main motto behind its establishment was to encourage the Indian industries for Government supply and Government Test House, as it was known at that time, was entrusted the responsibilities of guiding the indigenous manufacturers in respect of standardization and quality evaluation. After independence, a close observation on the journey of NTH clearly reveals the fact that this organization has served almost all the Government Departments (erstwhile when it was under Department of Supply and a sister of then DGS&D).
Its long association with the indigenous manufacturers as a mentor has always helped them to compete with their foreign counterparts in case of technical nitty-gritty. It has played a pivotal role in the development of indigenous products for industries and serves as a vital link between industrial research and manufacture of finished products under rigid quality control. Moreover the Scientists of NTH extended practical support to industries by way of consultancy in formulating and improving the quality of their products. The main objective behind the establishment of NTH was intended to be the development of Indian Industries for making them technologically self-sufficient by adapting and absorbing techniques by the development of alternate processes which enabled the Indian industries to compete with their overseas counterpart. The present scenario has not changed much specially in this age of globalization when competition among the entrepreneurs has sharpened.
At present, National Test House with its headquarter at Kolkata functions through six of its regional laboratories located in Kolkata, Mumbai, Chennai, Ghaziabad, Jaipur and Guwahati. All the laboratories of NTH except Guwahati have been accredited by NABI, as per ISO/IEC-17025. National Test House participates in various National as well as International Seminars and Symposia of relevance and also arrange workshops/training for creating quality consciousness among small entrepreneurs and the public at large. Scientists/officers are sponsored for various specialized training courses in the country and abroad with a view to up-dating their knowledge.
The salient functions of NTH are as under:
- Testing and evaluation of materials, products, equipments, apparatus and
system in practically all branches of Science and Technology except for food, pharmaceuticals, arms and ammunitions.
- Helping industries in developing indigenous products for import substitution
to meet the requirements of the National/International Standards for their acceptability in the global market.
- Calibration at the level of Echelon-II and maintenance of proper standards
and reference in areas of its competence.
- Assisting the 'National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration
Laboratories' (NABL) in accreditation of the testing and calibration laboratories.
- Assisting the Bureau of Indian Standards in formulation of Standards.
- Providing Welders ' Certification to the prospective candidates as per IBR
- Noise Pollution Measurement of diesel generator sets entrusted by Central
Pollution Control Board to NTH NR Ghaziabad.
- Imparting training on Test methodologies to industrial professionals and
NTH is engaged in Testing, Evaluation & Calibration in the following Scientific/Technological and Engineering fields:
•Electrical and Electronics
•Rubber, Plastics, Paper and Textiles
•Mechanical & Electrical Calibration.
OPEN MARKET SALES SCHEME (DOMESTIC) OMSS (D)
In addition to maintaining buffer stocks and for making a provision for meeting the requirement of the TPDS and other Welfare Schemes, FCI on the instructions from the Government, has been resorting to sale of wheat at predetermined prices in the open market from time to time to enhance the supply of wheat especially during the lean season and thereby to have a healthy and moderating influence on the open market prices especially in the deficit regions.
The Open Market Sale Scheme (Domestic) for wheat was introduced in October, 1993. Various pricing patterns like State-wise, Centre wise, Zone wise etc. have been adopted on different pricing parameters during 2008-09, Government allocated 9.09 lakh MTs wheat to States/UT Governments under OMSS (D) for distribution to household consumers and small processors during period September 2008- February, 2009, 14.69 lakh MTs wheat has also been allocated for sale to bulk consumers in various States/UTs through open tenders by FCI during October 2008- March, 2009. In 2009-10, 35 lakh tones of wheat and 10 lakh tonnes of rice have been allocated under OMSS (D).
Out of this allocation, 20 lakh tonnes of rice have been allocated to State/UT for distribution to retail consumers. 10 lakh tonnes of wheat has been allocated to FCI for tender sale of Bulk consumers and 5 lakh tonnes of wheat has also been allocated to FCI for sale to small processors. Later, on the request of some State/UT allocation out of savings has also been made. 11.21 lakh tonnes of wheat out of savings have been allocated to FCI for tender sale of wheat. Similarly, 2.35 lakh tones of wheat and 4.95 lakh tonnes of rice out of expected savings have been allocated to State/UT/NAFED/NCCF for distribution to retail consumers.
Disposal of Rice under OMDD (D)
There has been no OMSS (D) sale of rice in 2007-08 and 2008-09. During 2009-1-10 lakh tones of rice has been allocated to State/UT for distribution to retail consumers. Later onthe request made by State/UT, NCCF and NAFED 4.95 lakh tonnes of wheat have been re-alloacted from out of savings.
The Storage Capacity of the CWC and 17 State Warehousing Corporations (SWCs) as on 01.08.2010 as under:
The CWC started its operation in 1956 with a capacity of 7,000 tonnes in hired godowns. It has steadily increased its warehousing capacity and is operating 481 centres with a total capacity of 103.11 lakh MT as on 1st August, 2010.
The CWC has associated in State Warehousing Corporation in 17 States. The total investment of the CWC, which is a 50 percent shareholder in the equity capital of State Warehousing Corporation, was 60.12 crores as on 31.07.2010. Introduction of Negotiable Warehouse Receipt System in the Country In order to develop a negotiable warehouse receipt system for commodities including agricultural commodities, the Warehousing (Development and Regulation) Act, 2007 has been enacted by the Central Government.
The main objectives of the Act are:
(a) The warehouse registered under the Act can issue negotiable warehouse receipts
(b) Negotiability of warehouse receipts will make it a tradable and transferable instrument.
(c) This will help farmers get better price for his product when prices are high.
(d) This will also encourage banks and financial institutions to lend against receipts to the farmers;
(e) The Act provides for standards to be maintained by warehouses which issue negotiable warehouse receipt.
(f) There will be a regulatory authority, namely Warehousing Development and Regulatory Authority, (WDRA) which will over-see the functioning of registered warehouses. The said Authority will also lay down standard for maintaining records in the warehouses.
The WDRA as provided in the Act in the process of being set up. The Regulatory Authority will register and accredit warehouses intending to issue negotiable warehouse receipts and put in place a system of quality certification and grading of commodities with a view to protecting the interest of holders of warehouses receipts against negligence, malpractices and fraud. The authority shall consist of a Chairperson and two members who shall be of the rank of Secretary to the Government of India and Joint Secretary to the Government of India respectively.
Quality standards for Foodgrains
The Government exercises due control over the quality of foodgrains procured for the Central Pool. The Quality Control Cell of the Ministry at New Delhi and the field offices at Bangalore, Bhopal, Bhubaneshwar, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Lucknow and Pune monitor the quality of foodgrains at the time of procurement storage and distribution by FCI and State agencies. During 2009-10, 814 Food Storage Depots, 374 Procurement Centres, 1003 F.P. shops and 220 Rice Mills were inspected by the officers of Quality Control Cell.
Indian Grain Storage Management and Research Institute
Indian Grain Storage Management and Research Insitute (IGMRI), Hapur, and its two field stations located at Ludhiana and Hyderabad are engaged in the training and R&D work relating to grain storage management. The IGMRI also conducts various training courses on storage, inspection of foodgrains, pest control methods for the officers of storage agencies and pest control operators.
IGMRI conducted a long term study (3 years) to find out the suitability of PP/ HDPE bags for storage of foodgrains at different locations in the country, which has been completed during 2009-10.
During 2009-10, 15 long/short-term training courses and 8 artisan trainings programmes were conducted. 1256 foodgrains samples for physical parameters, 354 samples for pesticide residue and 225 samples for mycotoxin contamination were analysed by IGMRI, Hapur and its field stations.
NOTE ON WELFARE SCHEMES
As on 31st August, 2010 closing stock of foodgrains (wheat and rice) in the Central Pool with FCI and State Agencies stood at 503.42 lakh tonnes (provisional).
The offtake of foodgrains (wheat and rice) from the Central Pool by various States/ UTs and other welfare schemes, etc. in 2009-10 was 497.19 lakh tonnes as against 394.97 lakh tonnes during 2008-09. The total offtake of foodgrains (wheat and rice) under Targeted Public Distribution System (TPDS) during April 2009 to March 2010 is about 424.03 lakh tonnes comprising 234.12 lakh tonnes of rice and 189.91 lakh tonnes of wheat.
MID-DAY MEAL SCHEME
The Mid-day Meal Scheme was launched and implemented by the Ministry of Human Resource Development with a view to enhancing enrollment, retention and attendance and simultaneously improving nutritional levels among children with effect from 15 August 1995 for the benefit of students in primary schools, initially in 2408 blocks in the country. By the end of 1997-98, the scheme was introduced in all the blocks of the country. The Scheme presently covers students of Class I-VIII of Government and Government aided schools, Education Guarantee Scheme/
Alternative and Innovative Education Centres (EGS/AIE) to improve nutritional status of children and encourage them to actively participate in the classroom activities.
The Department of Food & Public Distribution makes allocation of annual requirement of foodgrains under the Scheme to Department of School Education & Literacy, Ministry of Human Resource Development. Further State/UT-wise allocation of foodgrains are made by that Department. Food Corporation of India (FCI) releases foodgrains to States/UTs at BPL rates as per allocation made by Deptt. of School Education and Literacy.
WHEAT-BASED NUTRITION PROGRAMME (WBNP)
The Scheme is implemented by the Ministry of Women & Child Department. The foodgrains allotted under this Scheme are utilised by the States/UTs under Integrated Child Development Scheme (ICDS) for providing nutritious/energy food to children below 6 years of age and expectant/lactating women from disadvantaged sections.
Allocation/offtake of foodgrains under the scheme during the 10th Plan period and the first four years of 11th Plan -2007-08, 2008-09 & 2009-2010 & 2010-11 are as under:
SCHEME FOR SUPPLY OF FOODGRAINS TO HOSTELS/WELFARE INSTITUTIONS (5 % OF BPLALLOCATION)
With a view to meeting the requirement of welfare institutions, viz. N.G.Os/ Charitable Institutions which help the shelterless/homeless poor and other categories not covered under TPDS or under any other welfare schemes, an additional allocation of foodgrains (rice and wheat) equal to 5 % of the BPL allocation of each State/UT is made to States/UTs at BPL rates. This scheme was initially introduced in 2002-03 to liquidate the stocks of foodgrains. Even though stock position of foodgrains in the Central Pool in recent years are not comfortable, the scheme has been continued.
During 2005-06, the allocation and offtake of foodgrains under the scheme were reviewed on recommendation of the Parliamentary Standing Committee for Food. The allocation to the State/UTs accrodingly was retionalized w.e.f. August, 2005 on the basis of average offtake of previous three years.
SCHEME FOR SUPPLY OF FOODGRAINS FOR SC/ST/OBC HOSTELS
This scheme was introduced in October 1994. Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution is the nodal Ministry for the scheme. Allocation of foodgrains was made for the first time during 2001-02 to nineteen States on the recommendation of Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment. The residents of the hostels having 2/3rd students belonging to SC/ST/OBC are eligible to get 15 kg foodgrains per resident per month. Allocations of foodgrains under the scheme are made based on requests received from the State/UT Governments, Accordingly, during the current year, allocation under the scheme have been made to Andhra Pradesh, Dadra & Haveli, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Nagaland and Tripura.
Allocation/offtake of foodgrains under the scheme during the 10th Plan period and the first four years of 11th Plan -2007-08, 2008-09 & 2009-2010 & 2010-11 are as under:
The Ministry of Rural Development launched this scheme in 2000-01. Indigent senior citizens of 65 years of age or above who are not getting pension under the National Old Age Pension Scheme (NOAPS) are covered. 10 kg of foodgrains per person per month are supplied free of cost under the scheme.
From 2002-03, it has been transferred to State Plan along with the National Social Assistance Programme comprising the National Old Age Pension Scheme and the National Family Benefit Scheme. The implementation of the scheme at the State level rests with the respective States/UTs.
The foodgrains are released to the State Governments at BPL rates. Allocation/ offtake of foodgrains under the scheme during the 10th Plan period and the first four years of 11th Plan -2007-08, 2008-09 & 2009-2010 & 2010-11 are as under:
NUTRITIONAL PROGRAMME FOR ADOLESCENT GIRLS (NPAG)
A Pilot Project – ‘‘Nutritional Programme for Adolescent Girls" (NPAG) was launched by the Planning Commission initially for a period of two years, i.e., 2002- 03 and 2003-04 in 51 identified districts, i.e., in two of the backward districts in each of the major States and most populous district (excluding the capital district) in remaining smaller States/UTs in the country. This scheme was restarted in 2005-06. Ministry of Women and Child Development administers the scheme at the central level and State/UT Governments implement the scheme at the State level. Free foodgrains @ 6 kg. per beneficiary per month is provided to the adolescent girls (weight 35 kg.) initially for a period of three months.
Adolescent girls (age group 11-19 years) as identified by prescribed weight would be covered irrespective of financial status of the family to which they belong. Those beneficiaries, who cross the cut off point for weight, would not receive foodgrains any further. Department of Food and Public Distribution provides foodgrains at BPL rates to the Ministry of Women and Child Development of making allocation to States/ UT Governments for implementing the programme.
Annual allocation offtake of foodgrains under the programme during the 10th Plan period and the first four years of 11th Plan -2007-08, 2008-09 & 2009-2010 & 2010-11 are as under:
EMERGENCY FEEDING PROGRAMME (EFP)
Emergency Feeding Programme is a food-based intervention targeted for old, infirm and destitute persons belonging to BPL households to provide them food security in their distress conditions. This programme was introduced in 1995-96, covering initially 5 KBK Districts of Orissa with 45,141 beneficiaries. The scheme is now being implemented by Government of Orissa in eight KBK Districts, namely, Bolangir, Kalahandi, Koraput, Malkangiri, Nawarangpur, Naupada, Rayagada and Sonepur of Orissa covering around 2 lakh beneficiaries. Under the scheme, foodgrains (rice) at BPL rates are being allocated to the State Government on the recommendation of Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment since May, 2001 by Department of Food & Public Distribution.
Annual allocated and offtake of rice during the 10th Plan period and the first four years of 11th Plan -2007-08, 2008-09 & 2009-2010 & 2010-11 are as under::
VILLAGE GRAIN BANKS SCHEME
Village Grain Bank Scheme was earlier implemented by the Ministry of Tribal Affairs in 11 States. However, since 24.11.2004, the scheme is being implemented by the Department of Food and Public Distribution.
The main objective of the scheme presently being implemented is to provide safeguard against starvation during the period of natural calamity or during lean season when the marginalized food insecure households do not have sufficient resources to purchase rations. Such people in need of foodgrains will be able to borrow foodgrains from the Village Grain Bank. The grain banks are to be set up in food areas like the drought prone areas, the hot and cold desert areas, tribal areas and the inaccessible hilly areas which remain cut off because of natural calamities like floods, etc. These villages are to be identified by the concerned State Government/Union Territory. The scheme envisages inclusion of BPL/AAY families in the villages to be identified by the State Government in food deficit areas. The quantity to be lent and the period of repayment is to be decided by the Group themselves. Vllage Panchayat/Gram Sabha, Self Help Group for NGOs etc. identified by the State Government are eligible for running the Grain Banks.
TARGETTED PUBLIC DISTRIBUTION SYSTEM
In order to ensure availability of minimum quantity of foodgrains to the families living below the poverty line, the Government launched the TPDS in June 1997. It was intended to benefit about six crore poor families in the country for whom a quantum of 72 lakh tonnes of foodgrains was earmarked annually at the rate of 10 kg per family per month.
The allocation was increased from 10 kg to 20 kg from 1 April 2000. This was increased from 20 to 25 kg per family epr month from july 2001. From 1 April 2002, this allocation has been further increased from 25 to 35 kg per family per month. While the allocation for BPL and AAY families are being made @ 35 kg per month per family, allocation for APL families are being made depending on availability of foodgrains in the Central Pool. The Central Issue Price (CIP) for BPL families is Rs. 4.15 per kg for wheat and Rs. 5.56 per kg for rice.
In order to make TPDS more focused and targeted towards the poorest section of population, the "Antyodaya Anna Yojana" (AAY) was launched in December 2000 for one crore poor families. AAY contemplated identification of one crore poorest of the poor families from amongst the BPL families covered under TPDS within the States and providing them foodgrains at a highly subsidised rate of Rs 2/-per kg for wheat and Rs 3/- per kg for rice. The States/UTs are required to bear the distribution cost, including margin to dealers and retailers as well as the transportation cost. Thus the entire food subsidy is being passed on to the consumers under the scheme. The scale of issue that was initially 25 kg per family per month has been increased to 35 kg per family per month with effect from 1st April 2002. The AAY Scheme has been expanded in subsequent years and presently it is covering 2.50 crore households.
IDENTIFICATION OF FAMILIES AND ALLOCATION OF FOODGRAINS
Identification of the Antyodaya families and issuing of distinctive Ration Cards to these families is the responsibility of the concerned State/UT Governments. Detailed guidelines were issued to the States/UTs for identification of the Antyodaya families under the expanded AAY. Allocation of foodgrains under the scheme is being made to the States/UTs on the basis of distinctive AAY Ration Cards issued to the identified families. So far, 2.43 crore AAY families have been identified by the State Governments/UT Administrations.
International Grains Council (IGC)
India is a member of the International Grains Council (IGC) which was previously known as International Wheat Council up to 1995 and is an intergovernmental forum of exporting and importing countries for cooperation in wheat and coarse grain matters. It administers the Grains Trade Convention 1995. The IGC Secretariat, based in London since 1949, also services the Food Aid Committee, established under the Food Aid Convention. International Grains Agreement comprises of Grains Trade Convention (GTC) and Food Aid Convention (FAC). India is signatory to the International Grains Agreement (IGA) 1995 and its Grain Trade Convention (GTC) 1995 which is effective from 1st July 1995. IGC has two types of members - Importing Members and Exporting Members.
India has been included in the category of Exporting members in July, 2003 and represented in the meetings/session of the Council held from time to time. The Department of Food & PD has represented India in the 31st Council Session of IGC held during 7th - 8th June, 2010 by a delegation led by Secretary (F&PD) and 102nd Session of Food Aid Committee meeting held on 4th June, 2010 through representative of High Commission of India in London. Besides this, Department also participated in other meetings of IGC like Market Conditions Committee meeting held on 2nd October, 2009 and Executive Committee meetings held on 20th October, 2009.
India being a member of the International Grains Council, this Department pays the annual membership contribution to International Grains Council. For the fiscal year 2009-10, a sum of pounds 27,300 has been paid towards India's membership contribution to IGC.
WORLD FOOD PROGRAMME
Government of India is allocates food grains at BPL issue prices for the development schemes administered by World Food Programme. For the financial year 2009-10, an allocation of 48,512 MT of foodgrains (Wheat: 40,986 MTs and Rice: 7,526 MTs) has been made at BPL rates to World Food Programme for their developmental schemes in the country for the various WFP supported/assisted projects under the New Country Programme 2008-12. Though the Country Programme (CP) of WFP Government of India is inching forward to attain the Millennium Development Goals through improved implementation of existing food-security programmes by focusing on developing institutional capacity to manage them. The WFP's projects having food delivery are currently under implementation in States of Orissa, Chattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand and Rajasthan. Capacity development for food security are being implemented by WFP in these aforesaid states and also in Gujarat, Uttarkhand, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Tamil Nadu.
SAARC FOOD BANK
In pursuance to the decision taken in the 14th SAARC Summit held in New Delhi on 3-4 April 2007, the Heads of States of SAARC countries have signed the Agreement on establish the SAARC Food Bank. The Food Bank supplements national efforts to provide food security to the people of the region. The Agreement on Establishing the SAARC Food Bank has since been ratified by the President of India on 17th April, 2007. As per this agreement, India's assessed share of Food grains reserves of the SAARC Food Bank is 1,53,200 MTs out of total share of 2,43,000 MTs of the reserve. Dr. Bhagwan Sahai, Joint Secretary (IC) has participated in the first meeting of the SAARC Food Bank Board held on 15th -16th October 2008, second meeting of SAARC Food Bank Board during 12th-13th February 2009 held in Colombo, Sri Lanka and third meeting of SAARC Food Bank during 8th-9th November, 2009 held in Kabul, Afghanistan.
FOOD AND AGRICULTURAL ORGANISATION (FAO)
FAO is one of the largest specialized agencies in the UN System founded in 1945 with a mandate to raise levels of nutrition and standard of living by improving agricultural productivity and living conditions of rural population. The Committee on World Food Security (CFS) serves as a forum in the United Nations System for review and follow-up of policies concerning world food security, including food production, physical and economic access to food. India is a member to both FAO and CFS. Committee on World Food Security (CFS) monitors the progress on implementation of the WFS Plan of Action.
TRAINING PROGRAMME ETC.
Training is one of the effective and tested tools for performance enhancement as well as upgradation of knowledge and skills of the personnel. Organizational motivation and morale, as reflected in the attitudes and administrative culture, are rendered through relevant and sharply focused effective training programmes. Officials of this Department have been nominated from time to time to attend training programmes under domestic & foreign funding schemes of Department of Personnel & Training conducted in various institutes/universities abroad. Besides officers/delegation of the level of Under Secretary and above of this Department have also been deputed abroad for undertaking official study tours and to attend International Conferences/ Seminar/Meetings of International organizations like Food & Agriculture Organisation (FAO), International Grains Council (IGC), International Sugar Organistion (ISO) & SAARC.
During the sugar season 2007-08, production of sugar was 263 tonnes (provisionally). The production of sugar in the sugar season 2008-09 is estimated at about 150 lakh tonnes.
There are 624 sugar factories in the country as on 31.03.2009. The sector-wise break up is as follows:
Sugar and sugarcane are essential commodities under the Essential Commodities Act, 1955.
Government has been following a policy of partial control and dual pricing for sugar. Under this policy a certain percentage of sugar produced by sugar factories is requisitioned by the Government as compulsory levy at a price fixed by Government in every sugar season. The Levy sugar is distributed under the Public Distribution System (PDS) at a uniform retail issue price throughout the country. The non-levy (free-sale) sugar is allowed to be sold as per the quantity released by the Government on monthly basis under the regulated release mechanism. Phased Decontrol of the Sugar Industry
The Government has taken steps for decontrol of the sugar industry. Accordingly, the compulsory levy obligation on sugar factories was from 40 % to 30% w.e.f. January 1, 2000. With effect from February 1, 2001, the compulsory levy obligation was further reduced to 15%. The levy obligation now stands at 10% of the production w.e.f. March 1, 2002.
Fixation of ex-factory levy sugar prices
Under the provisions of Section 3 (3C) of the Essential Commodities Act, 1955, the price of levy sugar (up to sugar season 2008-09) was determined by the Central Government having regard to
(a) the minimum price, if any, fixed for sugarcane by the Central Government under this section;
(b) the manufacturing cost of sugar;
(c) the duty or tax, if any, paid or payable thereon; and
(d) a reasonable return on the capital employed in the business of manufacturing of sugar.
However, section 3 (3C) of Essential Commodities Act, 1955 has been amended vide notification dated 22.12.2009 for determination of price of levy sugar from 2009-10 sugar season onwards with regard to
(a) the fair and remunerative price, if any, determined by the Central Government as the price of sugarcane;
(b) the manufacturing cost of sugar;
(c) the duty or tax, if any, paid or payable thereon; and
(d) a reasonable return on the capital employed in the business of manufacturing of sugar.
Provided that the Central Government may determine different prices, from time to time, for different areas or factories or varieties of sugar: Provided further that where any provisional determination of price of levy sugar has been done in respect of sugar produced up to sugar season 2008-2009, the final determination of price may be undertaken in accordance with the provisions of this sub-section as it stood immediately before the 1st of October, 2009.
Explanation - For the purpose of this sub-section:-
(a) "fair and remunerative price" means the price of sugarcane determined by the Central Government under this section;
(b) "manufacturing cost of sugar" means the net cost incurred on conversion of sugarcane into sugar including net cost of transportation of sugarcane from the purchase centre to the factory gate, to the extent it is borne by the producer;
(c) "producer" means a person carrying on the business of manufacturing sugar;
(d) "reasonable return on the capital employed" means the return on the net fixed assets plus working capital of a producer in relation to manufacturing of sugar including procurement of sugarcane at a fair and remunerative price determined under this section.
Retail issue price of levy sugar under the PDS
The retail issue price of levy sugar under the PDS is Rs. 13.50 per kg. with effect from March 1, 2002
SUGAR DEVELOPMENT FUND
Financial assistance from the Sugar Development Fund is provided for general growth and development of sugar industry as per provisions contained in section 4 of the Sugar Development Fund Act, 1982, as amended from time to time. Under the Sugar Development Fund Act, 1982, the Fund is to be utilized by the Government of India for the following:
(a) Making loans for facilitating the rehabilitation and modernization of any sugar factory or any unit thereof;
(b) Making loans for undertaking any scheme for development of sugarcane in the area in which any sugar factory is situated, including to a potentially viable sugar undertaking;
(c) Making loans to any sugar factory having an installed capacity of 2500 TCD or higher to implement a project of bagasse-based co-generation of power;
(d) Making loans to any sugar factory having an installed capacity of 2500 TCD or higher for production anhydrous alcohol or ethanol from alcohol or molasses with a view to improving its viability;
(e) Making grants for the purpose of carrying out any research project aimed at the promotion and development of any aspect of Sugar Industry;
(f) Defraying expenditure to a sugar factory on internal transport and freight charges on export shipment of sugar with a view to promoting its export;
(g) Defraying expenditure to a sugar factory for the purpose of building up an maintenance of buffer stock with a view to stabilizing price of sugar;
(h) Defraying expenditure for the purpose of financial assistance to sugar factories towards interest on loans given in terms or any scheme approved by the Central Government from time to time;
(i) Defraying any other expenditure for the purpose of the Act.
SUGARCANE PRICING POLICY
The Central Government had been fixing the Statutory Minimum Price (SMP) of sugarcane in terms of clause 3 of the Sugarcane (Control) Order, 1966 for each sugar season having regard to the following factors:
a) cost of production of sugarcane;
b) return to the growers from alternative crops and the general trend of prices of agricultural commodities;
c) availability of sugar to consumers at a fair price;
d) price at which sugar produced from sugarcane is sold by sugar producers;
e) recovery of sugar from sugarcane; and
f) the realization made from of by-products viz. molasses, bagasse and press mud or their imputed value.
The Sugarcane (Control) Order 1966 has been further amended on 22nd October, 2009 by inserting clause (g) which provides for giving reasonable margins to the growers of sugarcane on account of risk and profits. Powers were accordingly given to the Central Government to fix a fair and remunerative price (FRP) from 2009-10 sugar season effective from 1.10.2009.
The SMP/FRP is fixed on the basis of the recommendations of the Commission for Agricultural Costs and Price (CACP) after consulting the State Governments and associations of sugar industry and cane growers.
The Central Government have fixed FRP of sugarcane for the 2010-11 at Rs. 139.12 per quintal linked to a basic recovery rate of 9.5%, subject to a premium of Rs. 1.46 for every 0.1% point increase in the recovery above that level. No new formula linking cane pricing and sugar realization is under consideration of the Government.
It has been the policy of the Government to have an efficient management of edible oils so as to ensure its easy availability to consumers at reasonable prices, throughout the country. The net availability of edible oils from all domestic sources (from both primary and secondary sources) has been increased from 61.46 lakh tonnes in 2001- 02 to 84.56 lakh tonnes in 2008-09. The country has been resorting to import of edible oil to bridge the gap between the demand and supply. Edible oils, which was in the negative list of imports was first decanalised partially in April 1994.
The import policy on edible oils has further been liberalised from 1st April 1999 allowing import of all edible oils except coconut oil. In order to harmonise the interests of domestic oilseeds growers, consumers and processors and to regulate large import of edible oils to the extent possible, the duty structure on edible oils was revised from time to time till mid of 2008. From August 2008, the domestic as well as international prices of all major edible oils started declining. Although at present prices of domestic and International oils ae steady, the international prices of crude palm oil have increased marginally during last six months. For increased availability and softening the prices of edible oils in the domestic market, Government has taken various measures which include lowering of import duty on crude and refined oils, restriction on export of edible oils, supply of subsidized oils through State Government/UTs, imposing stock limits on edible oils/oil seeds etc.
STATUS OF VEGETABLE OIL INDUSTRY
The Vegetable Oil Industry is administered through the following control/regulation orders: (i) Vegetable Oil Products (Regulation) Order, 1998; (ii) Edible Oils Packaging (Regulation) Order, 1998; and (iii) Solvent Extracted Oil, De-Oiled Meal and Edible Flour (Control) Order, 1967. These orders are statutory in nature and derive their powers from the Essential Commodities Act, 1955.
Vegetable Oil Industry was delicensed in July 1991. No industrial licence is required for activity relating to processing of vegetable oils.
Role and Objectives
The Ministry of Food Processing Industries (MFPI) was set up in July 1988 to give an impetus to development of food processing sector in the country. The Ministry is concerned with formulation and implementation of the policies and plans for the food processing industries within the overall national priorities and objectives. The Ministry acts as a catalyst for bringing in greater investment into this sector, guiding and helping the industry, and creating a conducive environment for healthy growth of the food processing industry.
Within these overall objectives, the Ministry aims at better utilization and value addition of agricultural produce, minimizing wastage at all stages in the food processing chain by development of infrastructure for storage, transportation and processing of agro-food produce, induction of modern technology into the food processing industries, encouraging RandD in food processing for product and process development, providing policy support, promotional initiatives and facilities to promote value added exports, create the critical infrastructure to fill the gaps in the supply chain from farm to consumer.
Major objective of the Ministry
• Better utilization and value-addition of agricultural product.
• Minimising wastage at all stages in the food processing chain by development of infrastructure for storage, transporations and processing of agro produce.
• Induction of modern technology into the food processing industries.
• Encouraging R&D in food processing for product and process development.
• Providing policy support, promotional intitiaties and facilities to prompt value added export.
• Create the critical infrastructure to fill the gaps in the supply chain from farm to consumer.
Vision 2015 on Food Processing Industries
A vision, strategy and action plan has also been finalized for giving boost to growth of food processing sector. The objective is to increase level of processing of perishable food from 6 per cent to 20 per cent, value addition from 20 per cent to 35 per cent and share in global food trade from 1.6 per cent to 3 per cent. The level of processing for fruits and vegetables is envisaged to increase from the present 2.2 per cent to 10 per cent and 15 per cent in 2010 and 2015 respectively. The Cabinet has approved the integrated strategy for promotion of agri business and vision, strategy and action plan for the Food Processing Sector, based on the recommendations made by the Group of Ministers (GOM).
Integrated Food Law
An Integrated Food Law, i.e., Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006 was notified on 24 August 2006. The Act enables in removing multiplicity of food laws and regulatory agencies and provide single window to food processing sector. Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has been designated as the nodal Ministry for administration and implementation of the Act.
National Institute of Food Technology Entrepreneurship and Management (NIFTEM)
The Ministry has set up a National Institute of Food technology Entrepreneurship and Management (NIFTEM) at Kundli (Haryana). The Institute will function as a knowledge centre in food processing. Certificate of Incorporation of NIFTEM as a section 25 company under the Companies Act 1956 has been obtained.
SECTORAL OVERVIEW OF FOOD PROCESSING INDUSTRIES
Fruits and Vegetable Processing
Over the last few years, there has been a positive growth in ready-to-serve beverages, fruit juices and pulps, dehydrated and frozen fruits and vegetable products, tomato products, pickles, convenience vegspice pastes, processed mushrooms and curried vegetables. The domestic consumption of value added fruit and vegetable products is also low compared to the primary processed food in general and fresh fruits and vegetables in particular, which is attributed to higher incidence of tax and duties including that on packaging material, lower capacity utilisation, non-adoption of cost effective technology, high cost of finance, infrastructural constraints, inadequate farmers-processors linkage leading to dependence upon intermediaries.
The smallness of units and their inability for market promotion are also reasons for inadequate expansion of the domestic market in order to give fresh impetus to processing of fruit and vegetables. Government in 2004-05 has allowed under I.T. Act, 100 per cent deduction of profit for first five years for new upcoming Fruits and Vegetables Processing Units. The Ministry has released grant of 1901 lakhs to 108 applicants (upto 31.12.2010).
To develop necessary infrastructure for processing of meat and meat food products for domestic market as well as for export market, Ministry of Food Processing Industries is providing financial assistance by way of grant-in-aid. In the year of 2010-11 (upto 28 Feb 2011), 4.55 crores rupees as a grant in aid was provided to 20 units.
The Ministry of food processing industries is promoting organized dairy processing sector to meet upcoming demands of processed dairy products and help to identify various areas of research for future product development and quality improvement by way of providing financial assistance to the dairy processing units. The Ministry has released grant of 1088 lakhs to 52 applicants (up to 31.12.2010)
Considerable infrastructure facilities for processing of Marine products have been developed over a period of 50 years. However, a large industry of processing and freezing units are required to realise the potential of the sector. Ministry of food processing industries extended financial assistance for setting a technology upgradion/ modernisation of fish processing units. The Ministry has released grant of 126 lakhs to 6 applicant (upto 31.12.2010).
India received sufficient rainfall during the year 2007-08 and also relatively a far better oilseed crop while some oilseed growing countries faced drought/decrease in oilseed crop during the year. This gave the Indian farmers and vegetable oil industry an opportunity to reap very good overall profits from the high prices of vegetable oilseed products in the international market. The high prices of vegetable oilseeds products have encouraged the farmers to retain the areas under oilseed cultivation during the current year.
During the financial year 2010-11 upto 31.10. 2010, Ministry has sanctioned grant-in-aid of Rs 5.62 crore to 29 units for setting up/modernisation/expansion of edible oil milling industries, under the decentralized pattern of the Scheme.
Consumer Food Industry
Consumer food industry includes pasta, breads, cakes, pastries, rusks, buns, rolls, noodles, corn flakes, rice flakes, ready-to-eat and ready-to-cook products, biscuits etc. Bread and biscuits constitute the largest segment of consumer foods. India's biscuits industry is the largest among all the food industries and has a turnover of around Rs 3000 crores. India is known to be the second largest manufacturer of biscuits, the first being USA. It is classified under two sectors: organised and unorganised. Bread and biscuits are the major part of the bakery industry and cover around 80 percent of the total bakery products in India.
Biscuit stands at a higher value and production level than bread. This belongs to the unorganised sector of the bakery industry and covers over 70 per cent of the total production. India's biscuits industry came into limelight and started gaining a sound status in the bakery industry in the later part of 20th century when the urbanised society called for ready made food products at a tenable cost. Biscuits were assumed as sick-man's diet in earlier days. Now, it has become one of the most loved fast food products for every age group. Biscuits are easy to carry, tasty to eat, cholesterol free and reasonable at cost. States that have the larger intake of biscuits are Maharashtra, West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, and Uttar Pradesh. Maharashtra, and West Bengal, the most industrially developed states, hold the maximum amount of consumption of biscuits. Even the rural sector consumes around 55 per cent of the biscuits in the bakery products.
The Ministry of Food Processing Industries provides financial assistance to consumer industries sector under the scheme of technology upgradation/ modernisation/expansion. The scheme has been decentralised w.e.f. 1 April 2007. During the year 2010-11 (upto 31 December 2010), financial assistance to 111 foodprocessing units relating to consumer industries amounting to Rs 1967.4 lakhs has been provided.
As per the Allocation of Business Rules, the Ministry of Food Processing is responsible for alcoholic drinks from non-molasses base and beer including nonalcoholic beer. Ministry provides financial support for setting up/modernisation/ expansion of wine and beer units @ 25 per cent of the total cost of plant and machinery and technical civil work subject to a limit of Rs 50 lakh for general areas and 33.33 per cent of plant and machinery and technical civil work subject to a limit of Rs 75 lakh for difficult areas.
Aerated Soft Drinks
Soft drinks constitute the third largest packaged foods regularly consumed after packed tea and packed biscuits. The aerated soft drinks industry in India comprises over 100 plants across all states. It provides direct and indirect industry related employment to over 125,000 employees. It has attracted one of the highest foreign direct investments in the country. It has strong forward and backward linkages with glass, plastic, refrigeration, sugar and transportation industry. The installed capacity of sweetened/aerated water as on 1 January 2006 is reported to be 29.60 lakh tonnes per annum.
Packaged Drinking Water
There are 218 companies which have been granted licence for manufacturing packaged drinking water and packaged natural mineral water. There has been a spurt in growth in the last 3-4 years which can largely be attributed to a range of various packaged sizes to suit the consumers. 80 per cent of the packaged water sale comes from the bulk containers (5 litres and above).
Ujjwala scheme of 2016
The Times of India, Dec 30 2016
The government has given out cooking gas connections free of cost to 1.5 crore poor households under the `Ujjwala' scheme, achieving the target set for the 2016-17 financial year in eight months on the back of a massive outreach in rural areas.
The scheme was launched on May 1 by PM Narendra Modi at a rally in UP's Ballia district. The scheme envisages providing LPG connection free of cost to 5 crore poor households by 2019.
A provision of Rs 2,000 crore was made in the Budget for providing LPG connection free of cost to 1.5 crore poor households in 2016-17. The Cabinet subsequently had earmarked Rs 8,000 crore for the scheme in March to cover 5 crore such households.
The rapid progress of the scheme, personally being pushed by oil minister Dharmendra Pradhan, has raised the number of scheduled caste and scheduled tribe households with a LPG connection to 35% of the total LPG coverage in the country .
Ujjwala has raised nationally the LPG coverage from 61% as of January this year to 70% as of December 1. India is home to more than 24 crore households, of which about 10 crore still do not have access to LPG as cooking fuel and have to rely on firewood, coal, dung cakes as primary fuel for cooking. Ujjwala also aims at im proving health of women in rural households, who still depend on firewood, coal, dung cakes as cooking fuel. According to a World Health Organisation report, smoke from such fuels inhaled by women is equivalent to burning 400 cigarettes in an hour and causes several respiratory and other diseases. In addition, women and children have to go through the drudgery of collecting firewood. The idea is that after getting a LPG connection, there would be no need for the women to collect firewood or dung and they can spend that time more productively . Eastern region and hill states, where the LPG coverage was less than the national average, have been the focus areas for the scheme.
The government has also put Jammu & Kashmir, Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh and all states in the north-east on priority list for releasing LPG connections under Ujjwala.
2 crore households in 11 months
Free LPG Plan Reaches 33% More Households In 11 Mths Than Was Planned For '16-'17
For 2016-17, the target was set at 1.5 crore households.The oil ministry achieved this in just nine months. Ujjwala's rapid progress could prompt the government to consider raising the overall target since it has proven to be major vehicle for political outreach.
The rapid progress of Ujjwala has raised the number of Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe households with LPG connections to 37% of the total LPG coverage in the country . The number has risen to 13% for minorities.The national LPG coverage too has grown from 61% as of January 2016 to 71% of the total households in the country. India is home to more than 24 crore households.
As TOI first reported on March 11, speedy implementation of Ujjwala and rural electrification drive over the last two years in UP overshadowed the Samajwadi Party's outreach programmes and provided fuel for BJP's juggernaut in the state. Both schemes brought immediate and tangible improvement in the daily lives of beneficiaries. This established a connect with people about the PM's development plank. At a political level, Ujjwala independently addresses women from economically weaker backgrounds by contributing towards improving their health and ridding them of the daily burden of collecting firewood or other unhealthy fuel.
Womenfolk from economically weaker sections still depend on firewood, coal and dung cakes as cooking fuel.According to a World Health Organisation report, smoke from such fuels inhaled by women is equivalent to burning 400 cigarettes in an hour and causes several respiratory and other diseases.
In addition, women and children have to go through the drudgery of collecting firewood. The idea is that after getting a LPG connection, there would be no need for women to collect firewood or dung and they can spend that time more productively .
Eastern region and hill states, where LPG coverage was less than the national average, have been the focus areas for the scheme. The government has also put J&K, Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh and all states in the north-east on the priority list for releasing LPG connections under Ujjwala.
Food subsidy: India
Rs 23,000cr cut likely in food subsidy load
Dipak.Dash@timesgroup.com New Delhi:
The Times of India Aug 21 2014
Savings Result Of FCI’s Reduced Procurement, May Rise If States Stop Sops
The Food Corporation of India (FCI) cut its wheat stock substantially by 1.3 crore tonnes in 2012 and 2013. This should reduce the food subsidy burden by Rs 23,400 crore annually
In 2014, the estimated carrying cost of FCI, which includes storage and other expenses, was Rs 43.8 crore per lakh tonne of foodgrains. Thus the reduction of 1.3 crore tonnes of surplus foodgrain under central pool will translate into nearly a saving of Rs 5,694 crore per annum.
“Taking an average subsidy burden of Rs 150 crore per lakh tonne of wheat and Rs 200 crore per lakh tonne of rice, the savings on extra burden of subsidy are estimated to be Rs 23,400 crore,” said an official. The subsidy would reduce further if the state governments -Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan — stop giving bonus to farmers over and above the minimum support price. Even the move to reduce percentage of levy imposed on rice will also reduce the subsidy burden, sources said.
Food ministry’s estimate shows the government’s food subsidy bill would reduce substantially in the financial year 2014-15 because of decline in wheat procurement and its move to sell excess wheat stocks in the open market.
“Through appropriate pricing policy under Open Market Sale Scheme (OMSS), the government has tried an atmosphere where private bulk purchasers, roller flour millers have been encouraged to buy wheat from farmers directly in mandis during harvesting season,” a ministry official said.
This has brought down procurement of wheat and it is getting optimized in the range of 20-28 million tonnes in comparison to procurement of 38 million tonnes in 2012-13. As a result, the overall stock of foodgrain with FCI has reduced by 13 million tonnes. While as on July 1, 2012 it was 80.5 million tonnes, this year it was 67.5 million tonnes, primarily on account of wheat stock.
In 2013-14 FCI had sold 5.8 million tonnes of wheat under OMSS.
Sources said the ministry recently issued directives to states like Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan against offering bonus to farmers to restrict the quantity of grain procurement by FCI. Such excess procurement is about 14 lakh tonnes of rice in MP and Chhattisgarh and another 14 lakh tonnes of wheat in MP and Rajasthan. “If this is done, the total check on subsidy burden would be Rs 1,225 crore per annum towards carrying cost and Rs 4,900 crore on sale of foodgrains,” an official said.
Food and Civil Supplies: India