FCI sells 3.9 million tonnes of the 10 million tonnes wheat allocated for open market sale

The government has allocated 10 million tonnes of wheat for sale through weekly e-auctions to bulk consumers and private traders under open market domestic sale up to 31 March 2015 (including delivery period), of which 3.87 million tonnes has been confirmed for sale up to 19 February 2015.

The sale has been made at an average price Rs1,614.40 per quintal against the reserve prices of Rs1,500 per quintal in Punjab, Haryana and Madhya Pradesh for wheat stock of crop-years up to 2013-14 and Rs1,570 per quintal for wheat stock of RMS 2014-15, minister of state for consumer affairs, food and public distribution Raosaheb Patil Danve informed the Lok Sabha in a written replay today.

For depots of FCI located outside Punjab, Haryana and Madhya Pradesh, the depot-wise reserve price of wheat is to be arrived by adding railway freight from Ludhiana to the nearest railhead and road transportation cost from such railhead to the depot, to the crop year-wise reserve price for Punjab/Haryana/MP, he stated.

The price of wheat sold under OMSS(D) scheme is fixed by the government taking into account the prevailing market situation, trend of inflation and need of liquidation of surplus stock available under central pool without distorting the market too much. Rate of wheat products is not regulated by the government, he added.

The government has fixed a rice procurement target of 35 million tonnes for ongoing kharif marketing season (KMS) 2014-15 and wheat procurement target of 30 million tonnes for ensuing rabi marketing season (RMS) 2015-16, the minister stated in another written reply in the House.
 
The minister said that the allocation of foodgrains after implementation of NFSA by all the states is estimated at 61.43 million tonnes. However, the average offtake of foodgrains in the Targeted Public Distribution System (TPDS) and other welfare schemes in last 3 years has been 53.99 million tonnes. 
 
He also said that the stock of foodgrains in the central pool as of 16 February 2015 was 35.37 million tonnes against the minimum buffer norms of 21.41 million tonnes for January-March quarter, which is adequate to meet the requirement under TPDS and other welfare schemes.

The estimated annual requirement of foodgrains under National Food Security Act (NFSA) is 61.43 million tones, he added.