Wheat Prices: To check the ongoing rise in wheat prices, the government will sell 30 lakh tonnes of wheat from its buffer stock in the open market. Food Corporation of India i.e. FCI will sell 30 lakh tonnes of wheat from its stock in the open market under the Open Market Sale Scheme. FCI will sell this wheat to bring down the prices of wheat and flour in the wholesale and retail markets. The average prices of flour have increased to about Rs 38 per kg, after which the government has taken this decision.
Sources said that the Food Ministry will sell 30 lakh tonnes of wheat in the open market under the Open Market Sale Scheme (OMSS). Apart from others, wheat stock will be sold to flour mills and traders. Food Secretary Sanjeev Chopra had said on January 19 that the retail prices of wheat and flour have increased and the government will soon take steps to control the rising rates. The secretary had said that there is sufficient stock of wheat and rice in FCI godowns.
Under the OMSS policy, the government allows the Food Corporation of India (FCI), a state-run undertaking, to sell food grains, especially wheat and rice, at pre-determined prices in the open market to bulk consumers and private traders from time to time. Its purpose is to increase its supply during the off season of the particular grain and to rein in the general open market prices. The flour mills had demanded the government from the FCI to bring grains from the wheat stock to the market.
The Center had banned wheat exports in May to control prices following a marginal decline in domestic production and a sharp drop in FCI procurement for the central pool. India’s wheat production declined to 106.84 million tonnes in the 2021-22 crop year (July-June) from 109.59 million tonnes in the previous year due to heatwave conditions in some producing states. As against last year’s purchase of about 43 million tonnes, this year’s procurement has come down to 19 million tonnes. The area under wheat crop is slightly higher in the current rabi season. The procurement of new wheat crop will start from April, 2023.