In order to reduce the price of wheat and atta, the Department of Food & Public Distribution in consultation with the Ministry of Finance has decided to reduce the rate of wheat from 27.50/kg to Rs. 21.50/kg for sale to NCCF/NAFED/ Kendriya Bhandar/State Govt. Cooperatives/ Federations. The primary policy objective of the Department of Food & Public Distribution is to ensure food security through timely and efficient procurement and distribution of food grains.
The meeting of Committee of Minister under the chairmanship of Home Minister Amit Shah was held on 25th January 2023 to review the prices of essential commodities. The Essential Commodities Act came into force in 1955 and has been used to manage the supply, distribution and production of commodities termed as ‘essentials’. The list of commodities included under the ECA includes, fertilizers, pulses, edible oil, cereals, oilseeds, petroleum and allied products, seeds of fruits and vegetables.
30 LMT wheat to be released from FCI stock:
In the review meeting of the Committee of Minister, it was decided to release 30 lakh metric tonnes (LMT) wheat from Food Corporation of India (FCI) stock through Open Market Sale Scheme (OMSS). The FCI plays a significant role in ensuring food secruity in India. It provides effective price support operations, helps in distribution of foodgrains through Public Distribution System(PDS) and also maintains buffer stocks.
The 30 LMT wheat would be released as:
25 LMT to 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 to be offered to State Governments for their schemes @10,000 MT/State without e-auction.
3 LMT to be offered to Govt PSUs/Cooperatives/Federations such as Kendriya Bhandar/NCCF/NAFED etc without e-auction. This will be subject to the stipulation that they convert wheat to atta and offer it to public at an MRP not exceeding Rs 29.50/kg.
Subsequently, the Department made 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.
FCI has sold 9.26 LMT of wheat out of 25 LMT to traders, flour mills, etc in course of the first e-auction held on 1st and 2nd February 2023.
Decision to make supply wheat at a reasonable price:
The reserve price for the sale of wheat under OMSS will be Rs. 2350/Qtl (Pan India) for FAQ and Rs. 2300/Qtl (Pan India) for URS wheat of all crops including RMS 2023-24. This is without adding any transportation cost component. It is believed that the decision will help supply wheat to the general public in different parts of the country at a reasonable price.
In addition, the States may be allowed to purchase wheat from FCI for their own scheme at the above reserve prices without participating in e-auction. Further, the rate of wheat has been reduced to Rs. 21.50/Kg for sale to NCCF/NAFED/ Kendriya Bhandar/State Govt. Cooperatives/ Federations etc. as well as community kitchens/charitable/NGOs etc. engaged in relief operations/ running relief camps for migrant labourers/vulnerable groups.
This concessional rate for NCCF/NAFED/ Kendriya Bhandar/State Govt. Cooperatives/ Federations etc. will be applicable with the stipulation that they will convert wheat to atta and offer it to the public at a Maximum Retail Price (MRP) not exceeding Rs.27.50/Kg.