Guwahati, Feb 27 (PTI) The Food Corporation of India has increased its storage capacity in the North East to ensure food grain availability under the National Food Security Act in Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur and Mizoram, Union Minister Ram Vilas Paswan said today. Also Read - Uttarakhand Floods: Death Toll Rises to 31, Race Against Time to Rescue Those Trapped in Tunnel

Paswan, who is in charge of consumer affairs, food and public distribution, was here today to chair a review meeting on FCI’s preparedness to meet NFSA mandate and the status of its implementation in the region. Also Read - GST Revenue Collection for January Almost Touched Rs 1.20 lakh Crore, says Finance Ministry

He told reporters here that FCI has enhanced its storage capacity in NE from 4.80 lakh metric tonne in March 2015 to 5.62 lakh metric tonne as on January 2018 to ensure food grain availability to 81 per cent population covered in Assam, 63 per cent in Arunachal Pradesh, 88 per cent in Manipur and 65 per cent in Mizoram under the Act. Also Read - Manipur Foundation Day 2021: Best 5 Places to visit in Manipur During Winter - Imphal, Thoubal, Ukhrul, Senapati, Bishnupur

Further capacity enhancement has been done to the tune of 25,000 metric tonne under Private Entrepreneur Guarantee (PEG) scheme at Sorbhog in Assam which will be brought under utilisation soon.

FCI is also constructing around 54,000 MT capacity in the seven NE-states to further augment the capacity availability in the region, he added.

To improve the public distribution of food grains, Paswan said that he has asked for expediting the process for having gowdowns of FCI, state government, besides private companies in every district.

The union minister said that he had also sought the setting up of a State Food Commission and a robust grievances redressal system and toll free help lines.

Paswan said that the delay in food grains transportation due to fund shortage was solved following the Gauhati High Court judgement that the transportation cost would be paid by those lifting the food grains.

FCI and National Informatics Centre would work together to integrate the GPS tracking of trucks coming out of FCI godowns to prevent their diversion to non-intended recipients, he added.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.