expanding the list of essential commodities currently monitoring keeping in view the changing
      consumption pattern through periodical market surveys, commodity specific research on
      consumption pattern through periodical market surveys, commodity specific research studies/
      surveys such as demand - supply and consumption pattern analysis of essential food items to
      facilitate appropriate policy intervention.
      Food and Public Distribution
            The primary objective of the Department of Food & Public Distribution is to ensure food
      security for the country through: efficient procurement at Minimum Support Price (MSP),
      storage and distribution of food grains; ensuring availability of foodgrains sugar and edible oils
      through appropriate policy instruments; including maintenance of buffer stocks of foodgrains;
      making foodgrains accessible at reasonable prices, especially to the weaker and vulnerable
      sections of society under a Targeted Public Distribution System (TPDS);
            The main instruments of the Department’s food management policy are procurement,
      storage and movement of foodgrains, public distribution and maintenance of buffer stocks.
      Procurement of Foodgrains
            Food Corporation of India (FCI), with the help of state government agencies, procures
      wheat, paddy and coarse grains in various states in order to provide price support to the farmers.
      Before each Rabi/Kharif crop season, central government announces the Minimum Support
      Prices (MSP), based on the recommendations of Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices
      (CACP), which takes into consideration the cost of various agricultural inputs and the reasonable
      margin for the farmers for their produce. Details of number of procurement centres to be opened
      and arrangements like purchase of packaging material and storage space are also kept in line.
      Sufficient numbers of procurement centres are opened by FCI/state government agencies in
      mutual consultation before onset of procurement season, keeping in view the procurement
      potential and geographical spread of the state concerned. Review is made from time to time on
      the need for additional procurement centres, if any, during the procurement season and required
      additional procurement centres are also opened. State governments are encouraged to adopt
      decentralised procurement (DCP) system of procurement so as to maximise procurement, reduce
      transportation and increase the reach of MSP operations. Under this system, state governments
      undertake procurement and distribution of foodgrains by themselves. Procured quantities in
      excess of state’s requirement are taken in the Central Pool for distribution elsewhere.
            With the substantial increase in production of foodgrains in recent years and with an
      emphasis on bringing Green Revolution in Eastern-India, the procurement operations have
      expanded to many states due to which accumulated Central Pool Stock of foodgrains had reached
      to a record level of 805.16 lakh tonnes in 2012 against the buffer norm of 319 lakh tonnes.
      Therefore, a balanced policy approach for procurement, distribution and disposal of foodgrains is
      now being adopted to provide adequate price support to the farmers, to have optimum level of
      procurement for meeting TPDS requirement, maintaining buffer stock and to dispose off
      surpluses without distorting the market in future.
      Stock in Central Pool
            Foodgrain Stocking Norms (Buffer Norms) were laid down to meet the prescribed minimum
      stocking norms for food security, to ensure monthly releases of foodgrains for the Targeted