Food Corporation of India asks government to shift staff to other states

A high-level panel has recommended to boost operational efficiency, a suggestion that could give respite to over 1,500 employees.

A high-level panel has recommended to boost operational efficiency, a suggestion that could give respite to over 1,500 employees.
NEW DELHI: The Food Corporation of India has asked the government to transfer some of the staff in its zonal offices instead of closing down these offices as a high-level panel has recommended to boost operational efficiency, a suggestion that could give respite to over 1,500 employees.

“Closing down zonal offices is not a good solution. We have suggested reduction in workforce by transferring staff to other states, particularly in east India, where we will be expanding operations,” said an FCI official.

According to the official, who did not wish to be named, FCI gave this suggestion in a meeting with food secretary Sudhir Kumar that was held earlier this week before the meeting called by food minister Ram Vilas Paswan on February 11 to review the recommendations.

The panel, headed by former Union minister for rural development and consumer affairs Shanta Kumar, had suggested that FCI scale down or abolish zonal offices in Noida, Mumbai, Chennai, Guwahati and Kolkata to make the organisation leaner and nimbler. FCI has 20,000 employees on its rolls against a sanctioned workforce of 37,000.

“Running of zonal offices incurs only a minimal amount and disbanding will result in a huge loss of efficiency and accountability in FCI,” the official cited earlier said. According to Bhartiya Khadya Nigam Karamchari Sangh president JS Duggal, the zonal offices supervise and monitor all operations of FCI.

“The Noida zonal office monitors and controls entire north India. They keep a check on quality control and vigilance by sending squads and offices for surprise checks. Doing this at headquarters level for the entire country is not possible,” he said.
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Officials at zonal offices said they were performing a number of roles that state heads didn’t do.

“We recruit people, undergo training programmes, do promotions, pay fixation, disciplinary proceedings and pension accounts for people below officer’s level comprising the bulk of manpower in FCI,” said the official.

The panel had on January 19 submitted its recommendations on improving FCI’s operational efficiency and financial management as well as management of food grains.
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