The Centre today announced that it will offload an additional 20 lakh tonnes of wheat in the open market to bring down the prices of wheat and wheat flour for consumers.
The Food Corporation of India (FCI) will offload an additional quantity of 20 LMT of wheat in the open market for sale through E-auction to flour mills/private traders/bulk buyers/manufacturers of wheat products like in previous years. The decision as of now is to offload a total of 50 LMT wheat.
The Secretary in the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution (DFPD) held a video conference meeting with the FCI and the representatives of Flour Millers/ Associations/Federations/ Atta, Suji product manufacturers today to review the lifting of stocks. The flour mills were advised to bring down the prices of atta and other products in line with the reduction in market prices of wheat.
A meeting of the Committee of Ministers under the chairmanship of Home Minister Amit Shah was held on 25 January to review the prices of essential commodities. The committee decided to release 30 LMT wheat from FCI stock through the Open Market Sale Scheme (OMSS) as follows:
–a) 25 LMT be offered through the e-auction route to traders, flour mills, etc as per the usual process followed by FCI. Bidders can participate in e-auction for a maximum quantity of 3000 MT per region per auction;
–2 LMT be offered to state governments for their schemes @10,000 MT/State without e-auction; and
— 3 LMT be offered to PSUs/cooperatives/Federations such as Kendriya Bhandar/NCCF/NAFED etc without e-auction.
Subsequently, this DFPD made an allocation of 3 LMT of wheat to Kendriya Bhandar/ NAFED /NCCF as per their requisitions. Kendriya Bhandar, NAFED and NCCF were allocated 1.32 LMT, 1 LMT and 0.68 LMT respectively.
Further, the rate of wheat on 10 February has been reduced from Rs.23.50/kg to Rs. 21.50/Kg (Pan India) for sale to NCCF/NAFED/ Kendriya Bhandar/State Govt. Cooperatives/ Federations etc as well as community kitchens/charitable/NGOs etc subject to the stipulation that they will convert wheat to atta and sell it to consumers at MRP Rs.27.50/Kg.
Also, in order to reduce the price of wheat and atta, the DFPD in consultation with the Ministry of Finance decided on 10 February that:
–The reserve price for the sale of wheat under OMSS will be Rs 2350/Quintal (Pan India) for FAQ and Rs.2300/Qtl (Pan India) for URS wheat of all crops including RMS 2023-24 without adding any transportation cost component which will help the supply of wheat to the general public in different parts of the country at a reasonable price; and
–States may be allowed to purchase wheat from FCI for their own scheme at the above reserve prices without participating in e-auction.