Government may offload 6 million tonnes of grains in open market sales

Mumbai: The government is likely to take a decision to sell up to six million tonnes of wheat in the open market in a bid to bring down foodgrain prices in the country.

The government expects a good harvest of rice, corn and soybean this year, agriculture and food minister Sharad Pawar said, raising hopes that export curbs may be relaxed.

''I am going to take a decision tomorrow to enter in open market because I have kept about six million tonnes exclusively (for this purpose)," Pawar said on the sidelines of a foundation day function of the Indian Council of Agricultural Research.

While the country had a record wheat crop this season, Pawar pointed out that wheat prices have increased marginally in some pockets.

''We will see the centre where the price is going up and we will offload wheat (there)," he said, adding the government could sell up to six million tonnes in the open market.

''Our buffer norms are 45 lakh tonnes. In buffer stock, I have kept 55 lakh tonnes, that is 10 lakh tonnes more. Then I have kept three million tonnes as a strategic reserve and three million tonnes just to enter the open market," Pawar said.