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FCI Urges CWC to Monetize Urban Warehouses

FCI and CWC are part of the logistics sector's future asset monetisation journey, where the private and public sectors can build relationships and put the country on the logistics fast track.

Shivam Dwivedi
Sudhanshu Pandey, Union Food Secretary Sudhanshu Pandey in inauguration ceremony, Bengaluru
Sudhanshu Pandey, Union Food Secretary Sudhanshu Pandey in inauguration ceremony, Bengaluru

Union Food Secretary Sudhanshu Pandey urged the Food Corporation of India and the Central Warehousing Corporation (CWC) on Friday to capitalise on the growing demand for warehousing from e-commerce firms. Pandey said e-commerce companies require urban warehouses when he inaugurated the CWC's 3.5 lakh sq ft Grade A Warehouse at the IT SEZ near Bengaluru International Airport on Friday.

"I have already encouraged FCI and CWC to part with their facilities in urban areas as part of the company asset monetisation programme. We can operate for grain supplies outside of cities, which saves land, time, and provides a better return on investment on both sides," Pandey explained. FCI and CWC have their own warehouses in many locations across the country.

"From a situation of warehouse scarcity, we have come a long way to create capacity and can offer it to the private sector, which is eager to use it not only for foodgrains but also for other products," Pandey explained. CWC has a 50% share of foodgrain storage, of which FCI has 37%, and the rest is used by the private sector for grain management.

"In the future, we must be forward-thinking. Government corporations continue to play a significant role. As a result, both FCI and CWC are not included in the list of various disinvestment plans. In fact, they are part of the logistics sector's future journey with asset monetisation, where the private and public sectors can build relationships and put the country on the fast track in terms of logistics," Pandey said.

CWC has built a 3.5 lakh sq ft Grade A warehouse on 14 acres that will be leased to the Ethics Group of Companies for a 10-year period. The Ethics Group, which manages the Pradhan Mantri Bharatiya Janaushadhi Pariyojana's (PMBJP) entire supply chain and warehousing, intends to use the CWC facility to meet the needs of Karnataka and other neighbouring states. According to Bipin Kevadiya, CMD of Ethics Group, the company operates similar warehousing facilities for the PMBJP's supply chain management of medicines.

CWC's MD, Arun Kumar Shrivastava, stated that with land acquisition and land use change becoming a problem in urban areas, CWC is willing to collaborate with private players to develop warehousing infrastructure across the country. CWC is also developing 17.5 lakh tonne capacity warehouses in around 100 locations across India to meet warehousing needs, he said.

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