Saturday, June 22, 2024

Kendriya Bhandar begins selling wheat flour at Rs 29.5 per kg

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To provide relief to consumers from rising wheat flour prices, Kendriya Bhandar has started selling the commodity at Rs 29.50 per kg from Thursday, while cooperatives Nafed and NCCF will also sell at the same price from February 6 across the country, according to the Food Ministry.

These institutions agreed to brand wheat flour as “Bharat atta” or “any other suitable name”, with bold mention of a maximum retail price of Rs 29.50 per kg, it said in a statement.

This was conveyed on Thursday in a review meeting chaired by Food Secretary Sanjeev Chopra on the progress of the sale of 30 lakh tonne of wheat from buffer stock under the Open Market Sale Scheme (OMSS) in the domestic market.

“Kendriya Bhandar has already started the sale of atta at Rs 29.50 per kg from today itself. However, NCCF and NAFED will supply atta at Rs 29. 50 per kg from February 6th onward,” the ministry said.

The MRP or maximum retail price of wheat flour sold by these institutions is, however, lower than the current average all-India retail price of Rs 38 per kg.

About 3 lakh tonne of wheat is being offered to these institutions without e-auction under the OMSS for converting the grain into atta and selling at Rs 29.50 per kg.

Out of which, one lakh tonne each has already been allocated to Kendriya Bhandar and Nafed, respectively, while 50,000 tonne to NCCF.

This is part of the total 30 lakh tonne wheat, which the government plans to offload from buffer stock in the domestic market under the OMSS for containing prices.

About 25 lakh tonne of wheat is being e-auctioned to bulk users like flour millers at Rs 23.50 per kg, while 2 lakh tonne of state governments for welfare schemes.

Representatives of Food Corporation of India (FCI), Kendriya Bhandar, National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation of India (NAFED) and National Cooperative Consumers’ Federation of India Limited (NCCF) were present at the meeting.

Wheat and wheat flour prices in the country have firmed up in the last few months due to tight domestic supplies in the wake of a fall in domestic output.

Under the OMSS policy, the government allows FCI to sell foodgrains, especially wheat and rice, at predetermined prices in the open market from time to time to bulk consumers and private traders.

The purpose is to boost the supply during the lean season and moderate the general open market prices.

The Centre had banned wheat exports in May last year to control rising prices, after a slight fall in domestic production and a sharp decline in the FCI’s procurement for the central pool.

India’s wheat production fell to 106.84 million tonne in the 2021-22 crop year (July-June) from 109.59 million tonne in the previous year due to heat waves in a few growing states.

The procurement fell sharply to 19 million tonne this year from around 43 million tonne last year.

The area under wheat crop in the current rabi (winter-sown) season is slightly higher.

The procurement of new wheat crops would commence on March 15.

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