With a view to cool down the rising prices of wheat and atta, the government has decided to offload 30 lakh metric tons of wheat under Open Market Disposal Scheme (OMSS) and sales to state governments, Kendriya Bhandar, National Consumer Cooperative Federation (NCCF), National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation of India Ltd. (NAFED), State Cooperatives/ Federations etc., to cool down the prices of wheat and atta.
Union Minister of State for Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution, Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti, in a written reply to a question in Rajya Sabha on Friday, said that the government takes various steps from time to time to augment domestic availability and control increasing food prices.
These steps include releases from the buffer to cool down prices, imposition of stock limits, monitoring of stocks declared by entities to prevent hoarding, and also requisite changes in trade policy instruments like rationalization of import duty, changes in import quota, restrictions on exports of the commodity etc.
In order to manage the overall food security of the country and control the increasing prices of food grains, the Government amended the export policy of wheat from free to prohibited category on May 13, 2022 for restricting export of Indian Durum Wheat, and from July 12, 2022 the export of atta (wheat) is subjected to the recommendation of Inter-Ministerial Committee (IMC) on export of wheat.
To augment domestic availability and moderate the prices of pulses, import of tur and urad have been kept under ‘Free Category’ till 31.03.2024 and import duty on masur has been reduced to zero till 31.03.2024.
To prevent hoarding and restrictive trade practices in respect of tur the Government has issued a directive to all the states and UTs to enforce stock disclosure by stockholders of tur under the Essential Commodities Act, 1955 and to also monitor and verify the stocks.
Stocks of chana and moong from the Price Support Scheme (PSS) and Price Stabilisation Fund (PSF) buffer are continuously released in the market to moderate the prices and also supplied to the states for welfare schemes, said the reply.