1. Agriculture World

Centre Develops Application Ecosystem to Speed-up Procurement Process

Ayushi Raina
Ayushi Raina
Farmers on Field

The Government has recently developed an application ecosystem of the Department of Food and Public Distribution that will allow the integration of all state government procurement portals with Minimum Threshold Parameters (MTPs) for monitoring and strategic decision making, according to a statement issued by the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution on Thursday.

According to the ministry, "This procedure began with the start of KMS 2021-22 in October 2021." Minimum Threshold Parameters (MTPs) must be included in procurement processes to prevent intermediaries and guarantee farmers obtain the highest value for their produce."

The move is intended to accelerate the central government's release of funds to the states and the reconciliation of procurement figures with the states.

Ministry said the application ecosystem would benefit farmers and procurement agencies in particular. Farmers will be able to sell their produce at reasonable prices, avoiding the "distress sale." State agencies and FCI would be able to buy more efficiently despite restricted resources if procurement operations are well managed. Furthermore, the automation and standardisation of procurement operations would give "an integrated picture of foodgrain procurement and storage in godowns."

To maintain uniformity, certain Minimum Threshold Parameters must be documented in all procurement portals.

These include online registration of farmers and sharecroppers with all relevant information, integration of registered farmers' data with state land record portal, and online payment via Expenditure Advance Transfer (EAT) module OF PFMS which will ensure direct and timely transfer of MSP to farmers.

There were systemic and implementation difficulties for enforcing the Central Government's schemes due to context-specific variations in procurement processes throughout different states.

The ministry said, reconciliation of procurement operations with multiple states can be a time-consuming process, generating avoidable delays in the release of funds to the states. Non-standard procurement processes contribute to unnecessary inefficiencies, which, which the ministry noted, “manifest in the form of intermediaries in procurement operations."

"Standardization of operations is crucial in assisting the country in achieving greater levels of transparency and efficiency in procurement operations, which ultimately leads to ensuring food security for the people of the country," the ministry stated.

The ministry also highlighted that the government has sensitized state governments and other public procuring agencies on the need of MTP compliance for procurement operations and its integration with the central portal, namely the Central Food Grains Procurement Portal (CFPP), through a variety of forums.

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