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Govt sells 284,000 tonnes of wheat, 5,830 tonnes of rice on the open market

The union government on Wednesday sold 284,000 tonnes of wheat and 5,830 tonnes of rice to 2,334 bidders in the 21st e-auction under the open market sale scheme (OMSS). It had offered 300,000 tonnes of wheat and 179,000 of rice.

The weighted-average selling price was 2,246.86 a quintal for fair average quality (FAQ) wheat against the reserve price of 2,150 a quintal pan-India. The weighted-average selling price of URS wheat was 2,232.35 a quintal against the reserve price of 2,125 a quintal.

In addition, 250,000 tonnes of wheat was allocated to semi-government and cooperative organizations such as Kendriya Bhandar, National Cooperative Consumers’ Federation of India Limited (NCCF), and National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation of India (NAFED) under OMSS. They will turn wheat into flour and sell it to the public under the ‘Bharat Atta’ brand for up to 27.50 a kg. As of Tuesday, 15,337 tonnes of wheat had been handed over for this, the government said.

On 9 August the government had announced it would offload an additional five million tonnes (mt) of wheat and 2.5 mt of rice under the OMSS to bulk buyers to boost domestic availability and contain prices of the two key staples. This was in addition to the 1.5 mt of wheat and 500,000 tonnes of rice sales announced in June.

The government’s procuring agency, Food Corporation of India (FCI), has been selling wheat and rice from the central pool to bulk buyers such as flour millers and small traders under the OMSS through e-auctions since 28 June.

“The successful implementation of the OMSS policy has ensured that the prices of wheat are kept under control on the open market, and sufficient stock of wheat is available in the central pool for the continuation of OMSS policy for the remaining period of 2023-24,” the food ministry said earlier.

The government has 21.8 mt of wheat and 19.9 mt of rice in its central stock as of 1 November, against the buffer norm of 13.8 mt and 7.6 mt, respectively, including stock in transit.

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Updated: 16 Nov 2023, 05:45 PM IST

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