Food Ministry to raise Rs 29,000 crore through asset monetisation in 3 years

Economy


The food ministry has asked top officials of its public sector enterprises, Central Warehousing Corporation (CWC) and Food Corporation of India (FCI), to prepare an action plan to raise Rs 29,000 crore through asset monetisation over the next three years.

The plan will be part of the government’s asset monetisation programme, which was announced by finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman in the 2021-22 Budget.

“CWC has been mandated to monetise its unutilised assets,” said a senior food ministry official. “It has presence across 423 centres with a land parcel of 3,500 acres. CWC has been asked to rope in private investments and expertise to utilise its infrastructure.”

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He said that CWC has a warehousing capacity of 13 million tonnes, which can go up by 20% by just verticalisation of space.

“The existing food grain godowns can be stacked up to 24 bags high, which can generate additional revenue of Rs 1,000 crore every year. We are also looking at creating greenfield warehousing infrastructures on vacant space by inviting private players. We expect to meet our targets,” he said.

Besides, CWC would also dismantle existing godowns to construct multi-storey warehouses.

“The demand for warehousing has increased over years driven by e-commerce, and third-party logistics. It’s an opportunity to increase revenue,” he said.

The official said the government is also evaluating infrastructure utilisation of FCI. It has a large number of godowns, which are under-utilised.

“We have used technology to bring all the godowns on an online platform. This will bring transparency and efficiency in the system, which may help in monetisation of infrastructure,” he said.

Recently, food minister Piyush Goyal directed officials of CWC to set a target for exponential growth in the next five years. Goyal also directed them to complete all the 177 projects sanctioned since 2014, so that 1.4 million tonnes of additional storage can be created.



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