Food Secretary Sanjeev Chopra had said on January 19 that the retail prices of wheat and flour have shot up and the government will soon take steps to control the rising rates. Under the OMSS policy, the government permits the Food Corporation of India (FCI), a state-run undertaking, to sell food grains, particularly wheat and rice, to bulk consumers and private traders from time to time at pre-determined prices in the open market. Its objective is to increase the supply of the particular grain during the off season and to rein in the general open market prices. Even the flour mills have demanded the government from FCI to bring the grains from the wheat stock in the market.
ban on export
Chopra had said, ‘We are seeing that the prices of wheat and flour are rising. We are aware of this issue. Various options are being explored by the government and very soon we will give our response. The secretary had said that there is sufficient stock of wheat and rice in FCI godowns. The Center had banned wheat exports in May to control prices following a marginal decline in domestic production and a sharp fall in FCI procurement for the central pool.
This year’s procurement has come down to 19 million tonnes as against last year’s procurement of around 43 million tonnes. The area under wheat crop is slightly higher in the current rabi (winter-sown) season. The procurement of new wheat crop will start from April, 2023. Its price has increased by seven percent this month. Last year, there was a 37 per cent increase in the price of wheat in the country. On Monday, the price of wheat in Delhi rose by almost two per cent and reached a record Rs 31,508 per tonne. According to experts, if the government does not release the stock of wheat in the next 15 days, then its price may increase by five to six percent.
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