Inflation rates have increased significantly during the last year. Due to rising inflation, the prices of food items have also been very high. But now people do not have to worry much about rising inflation. On Tuesday, the Center announced an increase in the sale of additional 20 lakh tonnes of wheat in the open market to reduce the retail prices of wheat and flour. Along with this, the government has also ordered flour mills to reduce the rates of flour as the flour softens. To swiftly control the prices of wheat and wheat flour, they had announced to sell off 30 lakh tonnes of wheat from its buffer stock in the open market. According to a government statement issued on Tuesday, the government has decided that the Food Corporation of India (FCI) will bring additional 20 lakh tonnes of wheat into the open market under the Open Market Sale Scheme (OMSS). This stock will be for sale through e-auction to flour millers/private traders/bulk buyers/manufacturers of wheat products.
Government’s efforts to reduce inflation
It has been learned from sources that the decision to sell the wheat stock in the open market was taken by a group of ministers. So far, a decision has been taken to sell 50 lakh tones of wheat under OMSS. Additional sale of 20 lakh tones of wheat will be done which will reduce the reserve price. This decision of the government will help in reducing the prices of wheat for the general public. Union Food Secretary Sanjeev Chopra held an online meeting with representatives of FCI and flour millers/ various associations/ federations/ semolina products manufacturers to review the increase in stocks in the second round of e-auction held recently.
By how much will the prices fall?
According to the reduction in the market prices of wheat and other products, the prices of flour mills have been asked to be cut. The Food Ministry has said that the prices of wheat and flour have come down only after the announcement of the OMSS policy. But if we look at the data for the month of January 2023, the inflation is at the highest level of three months with 6.52 percent. According to the data released by the government, the average price of wheat on Monday was Rs 33.15 per kg, while that of ground flour was Rs 37.63 per kg. Last month too, the government had announced to sell 30 lakh tonnes of wheat from its buffer stock.
Not only this, the government is making available three lakh tonnes of wheat at subsidized rates to institutions and state public sector undertakings to convert it into flour. 13 lakh tonnes of wheat has been sold during the e-auction round. FCI will sell 11.72 lakh tonnes of wheat during the third e-auction on February 22. Last week too, the ministry reduced the reserve price of wheat of fair quality to Rs 2,150 per quintal. At the same time, for low quality wheat, this price was decreased to Rs 2,125 per quintal. All these reserve prices will be applicable from the third round of wheat sale through e-auction.
Impact of rising temperature on prices of wheat
In addition, selling wheat to NCCF/NAFED/Kendriya Bhandar/State Govt. Cooperative Societies/Federations as well as Community Kitchens/Charitable Institutions/NGOs etc. for making wheat flour by reducing the rising rates of Rs.21.50 per Kilo has been done. But it has been asked to sell it to consumers at the rate of Rs 27.50 per kg. To control the prices of wheat, the central government had imposed a moratorium in the month of May last year. India’s wheat production declined to 107.74 million tones in the 2021-22 crop year (July-June) from 109.59 million tonnes in the previous year.
There has been a huge decline in wheat procurement this year. Last year the procurement of wheat was 43 million tones, which has now come down to only 19 million tones. The production of wheat is expected to increase in the year 2022-2023 and it is being said that this production can increase up to 11 crore 21.8 lakh tones. But in this case temperature remains a matter of concern for farmers and agricultural scientists. The government has constituted a committee to assess the impact of moderate rise in temperature on the wheat crop. For this, taking necessary steps, the government has also issued advisory for the farmers.