Andhra Pradesh

‘Shortage’ of PP bags likely to hit supply of packed rice


Govt. yet to release ₹120 crore to implement the scheme across the State in April next

The government has come up with an action plan to supply rice in bags of 5 kg, 10 kg and 15 kg through the Public Distribution System (PDS) across the State from April next.

It had launched the scheme on a pilot basis in Srikakulam district in September.

But the plan seems to have been hit by “shortage / non-availability” of the bags.

‘Limited suppliers’

The Andhra Pradesh State Civil Supplies Corporation is faced with a peculiar situation. There are very “limited players” in the market who supply polypropylene (PP) woven fabric bags. Also, there is none to supply them locally.

The corporation, therefore, has explored the possibility of supplying rice in plastic covers and paper bags. But the officials have found not feasible.

The paper bags need to be laminated to ensure that the rice is not damaged during transit. The normal transparent plastic covers cannot hold the rice.

Again, the cost will go up if the experience in the supply of red gram is to be considered. The government is paying ₹4.50 per bag for red gram. “So, it was necessary to procure PP bags,” sources say.

Reverse tendering

“Those who have evinced interest in supplying the PP bags procure them from the manufacturers located outside the State. The suppliers are also shying away due to reverse tendering. Above all, the government is yet to release ₹120 crore required to roll out the scheme across the State as per schedule,” says an official.

According to information, the corporation requires 413.32 lakh bags for a period of three to four months – 101.75 lakh bags for 5 kg rice, 110.92 lakh bags for 10-kg rice, 117.84 lakh bags for 15 kg rice, 184.56 lakh bags for 20-kg rice, and 32.34 lakh bags for 50-kg rice.

The officials have estimated that 33.31 lakh bags were required per month to supply 5-kg rice, 36.36 lakh bags for 10-kg rice, 38.54 lakh bags for 15-kg rice, 60.31 lakh for 20-kg rice and 10.60 lakh bags for 50-kg rice.

These assessments are made based on the white ration cards in each district.

At present, ration shop dealers distribute rice in 100-kg bags. The government expects that rice packed in small quantities will help in arresting the recycling of subsidised rice.

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Printable version | Dec 7, 2019 11:48:31 AM |

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