Indian government has planned to import 100,000 Kg of rice from Myanmar to fill the supply the supply gaps that are likely to arise in the north-eastern states of Manipur and Mizoram Program in 2014-15 due to the ongoing construction of railway line connecting the two states to the rest of the country, has issued a directive to the Manipur state government to abandon all processes related with the rice import activity, said local sources.
Manipur government planned to import 10,000 tons of rice every month to meet the public distribution (PDS) needs of the state. It also reportedly developed the requisite infrastructure facilities such as food testing laboratory, godowns etc in the border towns to accommodate the imports.
According to local sources, the government of India issued the directive in the light of some scams that were unearthed in the PDS implementation in some north-eastern states, including Manipur.
The FCI officials in Manipur also reportedly received the directive.
The government has decided to import rice despite having sufficient stocks with the FCI as moving rice locally from other states such as Punjab or Andhra Pradesh by road is costlier than importing it. Moreover the journey has to pass through hilly terrains and land-slide prone areas, said local sources.
India’s rice stocks in the central pool as of June 1, 2015 stood at around 22.485 million tons (including a milled equivalent of about 9.234 million tons of paddy), down about 20% from around 28.03 million tons recorded during the same period last year, according to data from the Food Corporation of India (FCI).