STOCK MARKET BSE NSE

Stop conversion of rice to ethanol for sanitizers, petrol: Rights group to PM Modi

RRAG warned that the world could be facing multiple famines of biblical proportions within a short few months.

Published: 23rd April 2020 12:37 PM  |   Last Updated: 23rd April 2020 12:37 PM   |  A+A-

hand sanitiser

Hand sanitizer (Photo | AP)

By Express News Service

GUWAHATI: Rights body, Rights and Risks Analysis Group (RRAG) urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to reverse the decision on allowing surplus rice available with the Food Corporation of India (FCI) to be converted to ethanol for utilization in making alcohol-based hand-sanitizers and blending in petrol.

The RRAG said the latest global report on food crisis, placed by the UN World Food Programme, showed that 135 million people were already facing crisis levels of hunger or worse and due to the Covid-19 pandemic, an additional 130 million people could be pushed to the brink of starvation by the year-end. It warned that the world “could be facing multiple famines of biblical proportions within a short few months".

The RRAG said the National Biofuel Coordination Committee under the Chairmanship of Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan had on April 20 decided to convert surplus rice to ethanol. The government of India has a total of 58.49 million tons of foodgrains including 30.97 million tons of rice and 27.52 million tons of wheat in the FCI godowns, RRAG said.

“It was unthinkable that entire India and most parts of the world would be locked down for months to contain COVID-19 and there is little doubt that food production across the world will be severely affected. If a vaccine to cure COVID-19 is not found in the coming months, multiple famines of biblical proportions shall become a reality just the way the locking down of the world has become a reality now,” stated RRAG director Suhas Chakma.

He added: “At this stage, it would be both unwise and irresponsible to allow conversion of surplus rice with non-food purposes as the world would soon move away from the logistical problems in planting, harvesting and transporting food to simply scarcity of food. Every country must fulfil its responsibility towards humanity to address the suffering arising out of COVID-19 pandemic.”
 

Stay up to date on all the latest Nation news with The New Indian Express App. Download now

Comments

Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the newindianexpress.com editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on newindianexpress.com are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of newindianexpress.com or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. newindianexpress.com reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp