Centre asks States to release 2.7 million tonnes of wheat

Food Corporation of India on Saturday said it has asked the State governments to release nearly 2.7 million tonnes of wheat to bulk consumers, such as flour mills and biscuit makers, to control retail price.

Last week, the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) had approved sale of 6.5 million tonnes of wheat under open market sale scheme (OMSS) through the tender process.

“Instructions have already been issued to all States to release about 26.95 lakh tonnes in the first tender enquiry.

This step has been taken with a view to control the market prices and also to off-load the high stocks level of the central pool,” FCI said in a statement.

The scheme would be valid up to February, 2013.

The government would take all possible steps to control wheat prices by offering stocks under OMSS, the nodal agency for foodgrains procurement and distribution added.

On Friday, FCI Chairman C Amarsingh had said minimum 25,000 tonnes of wheat will be released for smaller States like Himachal Pradesh and a maximum of 1 lakh tonnes of the grain to big States every week.

FCI will issue weekly tenders and the base price will be the MSP and local tax and transportation charges, he had said.

Prices of packed wheat flour is ruling at Rs 21 per kg in the national capital even as the government’s minimum support price (MSP) is Rs 12.85 per kg.

The country had produced a record 93.9 million tonnes of wheat in the 2011-12 marketing year (July—June). The stocks of wheat in the central pool stood at 40.58 million tonnes at the end of last month because of record procurement.

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