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Centre releases 50 LMT wheat under Open Market Sale Scheme so far

New Delhi: The government has decided that the Food Corporation of India (FCI) may offload an additional quantity of 20 lakh metric tonnes (LMT) of wheat in the open market under Open Market Sale Scheme (Domestic) 2023 for sale through e-auction.

This auction would be for flour mills, private traders, bulk buyers or manufacturers of wheat products like in the previous years. The government on February 10 decided to offload 30 lakh metric tonne (LMT) of wheat under the OMSS and sales to state governments, Kendriya Bhandar, National Consumer Cooperative Federation (NCCF), National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation of India (NAFED) etc.

The reduction in reserve price along with an additional offloading of 20 LMT of wheat will collectively help in reducing the market price of wheat and wheat products for consumers, according to a statement from the ministry of consumer affairs, food and public distribution.

The secretary of the department of food and public distribution held a video conference meeting with FCI and the representatives of flour millers, associations, federations, atta or suji product manufacturers on February 21, 2023, to review the lifting of stocks in the second auction conducted under OMSS (D), 2023. Besides, 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.

It can be mentioned here that the meeting of the committee of ministers under the chairmanship of Union Home Minister Amit Shah was held on January 25 to review the prices of essential commodities. The committee decided to release 30 LMT wheat from FCI stock through OMSS.

According to the statement, 25 LMT be offered through the e-auction route to traders, flour mills, as per the usual process followed by FCI. Bidders can participate in e-auction for a maximum quantity of 3,000 MT per region per auction. Two LMT be offered to state governments for their schemes at 10,000 MT/state without e-auction. Three LMT be offered to govt PSUs, cooperatives or federations such as Kendriya Bhandar, National Cooperative Consumer Federation (NCCF), NAFED, others, without e-auction.
Subsequently, this department made an allocation of 3 LMT of wheat to Kendriya Bhandar, NAFED and NCCF as per their requisitions. Kendriya Bhandar, NAFED and NCCF were allocated 1.32 LMT, 1 LMT and 0.68 LMT, respectively, according to the statement.
Further, the rate of wheat on February 10 has been reduced from Rs 23.50 per kilogram to Rs 21.50 per kilo (pan-India) for sale to NCCF, NAFED, Kendriya Bhandar, state government cooperatives or federations, others, as well as a community kitchen, charitable or NGO, subject to stipulation that they will convert wheat to atta and sell it to consumers at maximum retail price of Rs 27.50 per kilogram.

Also, in order to reduce the price of wheat and atta, the department of food and public distribution in consultation with the ministry of finance has decided on 10.02.2023 that:

The reserve price for the sale of wheat under OMSS will be Rs 2,350 per quintal (Pan-India) for FAQ and Rs 2,300 per quintal (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 a different part of the country at a reasonable price.

According to the statement, states may be allowed to purchase wheat from FCI for their own scheme at above reserve prices without participating in e-auction. (ANI)

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