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Centre to offer 30 lakh MT wheat to traders, manufacturers across India, says FCI chairman

economy | Jan 25, 2023 3:17 PM IST

Centre to offer 30 lakh MT wheat to traders, manufacturers across India, says FCI chairman

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Earlier this month, the Director General of Foreign Trade Santosh Kumar Sarangi too had said the Centre would take an appropriate decision on the demand to lift the wheat export ban at the time of crop harvest around March-April.

AK Meena, the Chairman and Managing Director of the Food Corporation of India (FCI) said that the government has taken several decisions in view of the increasing trend in wheat prices. To address this issue, 30 lakh metric tonnes of wheat will be offered to traders and manufacturers across the country.

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He said that out of the 30 lakh metric tonnes of wheat, 25 lakh metric tonnes will be made available through E-Auction, which will allow for a transparent and efficient process for wheat procurement. Additionally, 2 lakh metric tonnes of wheat will be given to states, and 3 lakh metric tonnes will be given to Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs).
This move by the government is aimed at ensuring that wheat is easily available in the entire country, and to stabilize the prices of wheat, which have been increasing in recent times. The allocation of wheat to different entities through E-Auction and direct allocation to states and PSUs, is expected to increase the availability of wheat in the market, thus stabilizing the prices.
Earlier, a food ministry official had earlier told CNBC-TV18 that the Centre has approved the proposal for sale of 30 lakh metric tonne (LMT) of wheat under the open market sale scheme (OMSS), adding that wheat would be sold via traders, state governments and cooperatives, federations and PSUs.
The government sources had told CNBC-TV18 that the open market sale of wheat would begin soon to check rising prices. The wheat prices are expected to come down as international prices are also falling, the sources said, adding that wheat futures for the next six months seemed bleak.
The government sources had also added that the Centre has no plans to revisit the export ban on wheat before the arrival of the next crop in March.
Earlier this month, the Director General of Foreign Trade Santosh Kumar Sarangi too had said the Centre would take an appropriate decision on the demand to lift the wheat export ban at the time of crop harvest around March-April.
"The wheat crop is harvested in India around March-April, and the government would take an appropriate decision regarding the wheat export ban then. Also, when it is felt there is an equilibrium in wheat's demand and supply, arrangements would be made to allow the export," he had said.
Last week, a government official told CNBC-TV18 that the export ban on wheat and broken rice would continue, and that the free food grain scheme would get an additional annual subsidy of around Rs 14,000 crore, which would be less than 0.1 percent of the GDP.
The official had said they are witnessing a rise in wheat prices and grains are required for domestic supply, while the agricultural produce data is still awaited. The official added that the government had no plan of lifting or relaxing the ban on wheat exports, or broken rice exports. The official also said that the ban on wheat export may continue this year if stocks do not improve.
The government also does not plan to change the minimum selling price of sugar as its prices are stable, the official had said last week.
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