New Delhi: The requirement of foodgrains for public distribution system and other welfare scheme is about 61 million tonnes which is 30 percent of the nation's grain output, the Rajya Sabha was informed on Monday.

Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution Minister K V Thomas said during Question Hour that as directed by the Supreme Court, 50 lakh tonne foodgrains have been earmarked for 74 poorest districts in the country.
Of this, only 2-3 lakh tonne foodgrains could be distributed under the direction of Supreme Court, he said.
Thomas said the quantum of foodgrains damaged at Food Corporation of India (FCI) storages has come down from 1.35 lakh tonnes in 2003-04 to 0.03 lakh tonnes in 2011-12. The foodgrains damaged is 0.006 percent of foodgrains issued by FCI.
To address the shortage of storage facility, the government has formulated a Private Entrepreneurs Guarantee Scheme for construction of godowns through private entrepreneurs.
"A capacity of 151.96 lakh tonnes is to be created under the scheme through private entrepreneurs and central and state warehousing corporations in 19 states," he said.
Of this, tenders have been sanctioned for a capacity of 90.75 lakh tonnes. Besides, capacities of 5.40 lakh tonnes and 14.75 lakh tonnes have been allocated to central and state warehousing corporations respectively for construction of godowns on their own land.
"The government has also approved creation of a capacity of 20 lakh tonnes in silos within the overall storage requirement of FCI," he said.
"Our storage mechanism is quite satisfactory," he said, adding, "If needed, FCI can hire private godowns for storing foodgrains."