The centre has directed Food Corporation of India (FCI) to conduct e-auctions of wheat and rice to check the inflationary trends in prevailing retail prices, as part of market intervention to control the price of foodgrains, Ashok K K Meena, chairman and managing director of FCI, said while addressing the media in New Delhi on Friday.
The base price of wheat for the e-auctions has been kept at the same level at Rs2,150 per quintal for FAQ and Rs2,125 per quintal for URS wheat.
However, for participating in the e-auctions, government has decided that the declaration in the Wheat Stock Monitoring System portal is mandatory for participation in the auctions. In addition to this, in order to identify the genuine processors and traders, the valid FSSAI licence has also been made mandatory for participation.
The maximum quantity that a buyer can bid for in this round of e-auction is limited to 100 tonnes. To accommodate small wheat processors and traders, the minimum quantity has been kept at 10 tonnes.
Further, to accommodate the small and marginal traders and processors of wheat, the EMD for participation in the e-auctions has also been reduced by 50 per cent from the earlier levels.
The bidding is also limited to the local buyers by ensuring that the GST registration of the state is mapped and checked before stocks are released. These measures are taken to ensure a wider local reach for the stocks offered in a particular state, says a government release.
In all FCI is offering 4 lakh tonnes of wheat in the first e-auction from 457 depots across the country. FCI has also empaneled 271 fresh buyers after 1 April 2023. There are 2093 active empanelled bidders as on date.
The e-auction for rice under Open Market Sale Scheme (Domestic) would commence from 5 July 2023. The base price of rice is Rs 3,100 per quintal.
FCI has offloaded 3.37 million tonnes of wheat in six auctions till 15 March 2023, which, according to the government, has helped bring down the prices of wheat by 19 per cent in a span of 45 days. The market intervention remained suspended during the Rabi wheat procurement period.