( HP ECONOMIC SURVEY 2019-20)
CHAPTER 6: PRICE MOVEMENT AND FOOD MANAGEMENT
(For better explanation, Chapter wise video lectures of this economic survey have been uploaded in the youtube channel of RANA ACADEMY SHIMLA )
Himachal’s Economy is considered as a consumption economy. Mostly the consumption is based on demand and the prices are mainly based on the principle of demand and supply. In order to check price behavior, hoarding, profiteering and other malpractices in the sale and distribution of essential commodities of mass consumption, the State Government is vigorously enforcing various Orders/ Acts. A system of regular weekly monitoring of prices of essential commodities continued during the year by the Department of Economic and Statistics so that effective measures can be taken in time to check undue price rise.
GENERAL INFLATION BASED ON DIFFERENT PRICE INDICES (IN PERCENT) :
The Food, Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs Department of the State has been keeping constant vigil on the price situation and maintained the mechanism of supplying the essential consumer commodities to the public through a network of 4,957 fair price shops.
India introduced inflation targeting on 5th August, 2016 for a period of five years ending on 31st March, 2021.
Volatility in Essential Commodity Prices
Overall price volatility was highest for vegetables and lowest for rice wheat, sugar, gur (gud or Jaggery), mustard oil and cement. There was a significant rise in volatility for pulses, kerosene oil, and onion between April-December 2018- and April-December 2019.
Overall, WPI inflation remained low during the financial year 2019- 20, CPI-C inflation saw a slight rise, driven mainly by food prices. Supply-side shocks in agricultural commodities such as onion due to erratic rains led to the sudden spike in the prices of these commodities.
In order to monitor food insecurity and vulnerability issues the Department of Food and Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs is also implementing Food Insecurity and Vulnerability Mapping System (FIVIMS) through G.I.S. As a result of various measures by the State Government the prices of essential commodities remained under control.
FOOD SECURITY AND CIVIL SUPPLIES:
One of the main constituents of the Govt. strategy for poverty alleviation is Targeted Public Distribution System (TPDS) which ensures availability of essential commodities like Wheat, Wheat Atta (flour), Rice, sugar etc. through a network of 4,957 fair price shops.
The total families for distribution of essential items have been divided in two categories viz. 1) National Food Security Act (NFSA) (Eligible Household) i) Antyodaya Anna Yojana (AAY) ii) Priority Households
2) Other than NFSA (APL)
In HP, the Targeted Public Distribution System, having total ration cards 18,75,031 caters to a population of 72,90,044 from digitized record. These card holders are provided with essential commodities through 4,957 fair price shops which includes 3,227 Cooperative Societies, 13 Panchayat, 74 HPSCSC outlets, 1,631 Individual outlets and 12 Mahila Mandals.
Presently, following food items are being distributed under TPDS and H.P.State Subsidised Schemes which is as per Table given below :
Food Security in Tribal and inaccessible Areas of the State
The Himachal Pradesh State Civil Supplies Corporation (HPSCSC) is committed, to provide all essential commodities, Petroleum products including kerosene oil and LPG in tribal and inaccessible areas, where private traders do not venture to undertake these operations due to economic non availability of the trade. During current financial year 2019-20 up to December, 2019 the supplies of essential commodities and petroleum products to tribal and snow bound area were arranged as per the tribal action plan of Government.
Himachal Pradesh State Civil Supplies Corporation (HPSCSC)
The H.P. State Civil Supplies Corporation as a “CENTRAL PROCUREMENT AGENCY” for all controlled and non-controlled essential commodities in the State is procuring and distributing food-grains and other essential commodities to the entire satisfaction of the Government under the Targeted Public Distribution System (TPDS) and National Food Security Act (NFSA). During the current financial year 2019-20, up to December,2019 the Corporation procured and distributed various commodities under TPDS to the tune of `1,035.52 crore as compared to `978.20 crore during the corresponding period of last year.
Presently, the Corporation is also providing other essential items like cooking gas, Diesel/ Petrol/ Kerosene Oil and lifesaving drugs/ medicines at reasonable rates to the consumers of the State through its 116 Wholesale Godowns, 72 Retail Shops/ APNA STORE, 54 Gas Agencies, 4 Petrol Pumps and 32 Medicine Shops. In addition to this, the procurement and distribution, of non-controlled commodities (like sugar, pulses, rice, atta, detergents powder & soap, tea leaves, exercise note books, cement, CGI Sheets, medicines, items under Supplementary Nutritional Programme, MNREGA- cement and petroleum products etc.) through wholesale godowns and retail shops of the Corporation has played an important role in stabilising prices of these commodities prevailing in the open market. During the current financial Year, 2019-20, up to December, 2019 the Corporation procured and distributed various commodities under the scheme to the tune of `477.27 crore as compared to `473.42 crore during corresponding period of last year.
The corporation is arranging the supplies of rice and other supplementary items under the Mid-day-Meal Scheme to Primary and Upper Primary Schools as per the allocation made by the concerned Deputy Commissioner. During the current financial year 2019-20 up to December, 2019 the Corporation arranged the distribution of 9,889 MT rice as compared to 9,881 MT during the corresponding period of last year under this scheme. The Corporation is also arranging the supplies of identified Specially Subsidized items (pulses of various kinds, Edible Oil (Mustard/ Refined and I. Salt under the State Sponsored Schemes as per the decisions of the purchase committee constituted by the Government. During the current financial year 2019-20, upto December, 2019 the Corporation has distributed these commodities under the said scheme to the tune of `384.00 crore as compared to `377.00 crore during corresponding period of last year to the Ration Card holders of the Pradesh as per the scale fixed by the State Government. During the year 2019-20 for the implementation of this scheme, a budget provision of `220.00 crore has been made as State subsidy. During the year 2019-20 the corporation is likely to achieve a total turnover of over `1,450.00 crore as compared to `1,356.11 crore during the year 2018-19.
Himachal Pradesh State Civil Supplies Corporation Ltd. is managing the procurement and supplies of Ayurvedic medicines to Government hospitals, Cement to Government Department/ Board/ Corporations and other Government institutions and GI/ DI/ CI Pipes to IPH Department of Government of Himachal Pradesh.
MNREGA Cement Supplies
During the financial year 2019-20 upto December, 2019 the Corporation managed the procurement and distribution of 30,60,740 cement bags amounting to `70.74 crore to various Panchayats for developmental works of the Panchayats in the State.
The corporation is earning profit since its inception i.e 1980. During the year 2018-19 a net profit of `1.18 crore was earned and a sum of `35.15 lakh was proposed to be paid as dividend to the Government of Himachal Pradesh.
Implementation of National Food Security Act, 2013 (NFSA) Under the task and responsibilities assigned by the Government of India to States for implementation of National Food Security Act 2013, the Himachal Pradesh State Civil Supplies Corporation is playing major role in implementing the scheme through timely procurement, storage and supply of allocated food grains through its 117 wholesale centres to Fair Price Shops for further distribution among the beneficiaries of the State.
During the financial year 2019-20 up to December, 2019, 60,090 MT rice and 30,995 MT wheat at the rate of `3.00 and `2.00 per kg per month respectively have been distributed to the identified beneficiaries. In addition to above, in the absence of separate Warehouse Corporation of the State Government, the Himachal Pradesh State Civil Supplies Corporation is managing storage capacity itself, through 21,297 MT owned and 38,298 MT hired godowns in the State.
In view of successful implementation of the NFSA, 2013, additional Storage Capacity is being created and efforts are being made for constructing of godowns. Two godowns with capacity of 550 MT at Nerwa, District Shimla and 500 MT at Siddhpur Sarkari, District Kangra have been completed and possession has been taken from the executing agency. The Corporation is working towards creating a storage capacity of 5,000 MT at different parts of the State.