Govt may sell 10 mn tonnes of wheat

Govt may sell 10 mn tonnes of wheat

The government is likely to seek Cabinet approval this time for releasing 10 million tonne wheat under the open-market sale scheme for this financial year to offset the impact of inflation on consumers.

“The Cabinet note should be ready in a day or two. We will send it for the Cabinet's approval at its next meeting,” said a food ministry official.

Sources said the ministry was initially keen on increasing the base price of wheat sold under the scheme to include incremental carrying costs, but there are concerns that such a move might add to the food inflation. “We have left it to the Cabinet to take a call on the prices,” said the official.

In the last financial year, the government had offered 10 million tonnes of wheat and 500,000 tonnes of rice under the open-market sale scheme, of which about 6.1 mn tonne of wheat was sold.

“There is a possibility that last year's formula will be followed this year as well, and the base price will remain at Rs 1,500,” said the official.

“There is a possibility that last year's formula will be followed this year as well, and the base price will remain at Rs 1,500,” said the official.

The government is keen on liquidating some grain from its stocks to ensure ample supplies in the market.

At the start of this month, the government had 39.8 mn tonnes of wheat in stock—much higher than the July 1 buffer stock norm of 17.1 mn tonnes.

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