Govt approves sale of 6.5 million tonnes wheat to bulk consumers

Govt approves sale of 6.5 million tonnes wheat to bulk consumers New Delhi: The government on Saturday said that it will sell 6.5 million tonnes of wheat to bulk consumers like flour millers and biscuit makers in a bid to check rising prices of wheat products and to offload surplus stocks.

It has also approved allocation of additional 5 lakh tonnes each of wheat and rice to NAFED, NCCF and Kendriya Bhandar for sale to retail consumers.

Both the decision were approved by the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA).

"CCEA has approved allocation of 65 lakh tonnes of wheat for tender sale by FCI to bulk consumers/traders and allocation of 5 lakh tonnes wheat and 5 lakh tonnes rice for sale to retail consumers," an official statement said.

"This will be through State/UT governments and national cooperatives like NAFED, NCCF and Kendriya Bhandar under Open Market Sale Scheme - Domestic (OMSS(D))," it said.

The sale of wheat and rice under OMSS(D) will increase the availability of these commodities in the market and will have moderating influence on prices of wheat and rice in the open market, it added.

The retail prices of wheat flour in domestic wholesale market are hovering at Rs 21 per kg, while the minimum support price (MSP) of wheat is Rs 12.85 per kg.

The government has, since June 2012, released about 3 million tonnes of wheat to bulk consumers.

India harvested a bumper wheat crop of 93.90 million tonne in the 2011-12 crop year (July-June) with government procurement hitting a record 38.1 million tonne.

The stocks of wheat in the central pool stood at 40.58 million tonnes at the end of October 2012.

PTI