Ever since huge leakages and diversion of foodgrain in the region came to the notice of the Agriculture and Consumer Affairs Ministry, a demand for local procurement surfaced, official sources here said today.
The Programme Evaluation Organisation under the Planning Commission, in its performance evaluation of Targeted Public Distribution System (TPDS) has reported foodgrain leakages in various places in Northeastern states at about 40 per cent and diversion at 12 per cent both as percentages of Below Poverty Line off-take.
For the year 2006, the Centre has allocated Rs 4.64 crore for construction of food grain storage godowns in the region.
A physical target of 6,240 MT has been fixed for creation of storage capacity and against this till January 2,920 MT of storage capacity has been created by the Food Corporation of India.
For the next fiscal, the government has allocated Rs 5.5 crore for construction of foodgrain storage, Rs 2.00 crore for integrated information system for foodgrain management and Rs 3.25 crore for village grain bank.
The pace of expenditure also slow during last year due to frequent law and order problems, frequent bandhs and life threats from militants.
Also it took time to acquire land for construction of various centres.
After acquisition of land, 100 per cent utilisation of funds during the current fiscal could be ensured, the sources added.