Food min seeks Cabinet nod for wheat sale under OMSS
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In a bid to create storage space for the kharif crop and sell excess stocks with the Food Corporation of India (FCI), the food ministry would soon seek the Cabinet's approval for releasing seven million tonne of wheat under the Open Market Sale Scheme (OMSS) for bulk buyers.
The ministry would also push for the release of four lakh tonne each of rice and wheat to states.
The flour millers have been demanding additional allocation of wheat under the OMSS as the Centre had huge stocks of food grains far excess of requirement. During last six months, the government has already allocated six million tonne of wheat under the OMSS.
"We will soon seek cabinet approval for additional quantity of wheat to be sold to bulk buyers besides additional allocation to states for their retail scheme," food minister KV Thomas told FE.
At the start of the month, the FCI and state government-owned agencies had wheat stocks of 43.1 million tonne against the buffer stocks norm (11 million tonne) and strategic reserve norms of (3 million tonne). "We have sufficient wheat stocks to meet the domestic demand and we will gradually release wheat to bulk buyers as per the requirement," Thomas said.
The flour millers had recently urged the government to fix a uniform prices for the wheat allocated under the OMSS for bulk buyers so that sufficient quantity of the grain is available to millers in the key growing states of Punjab and Haryana.
For wheat-consuming states in southern, eastern and western regions, the FCI had fixed price on basis of minimum support price and freight cost from Ludhiana.
For the producing states like Punjab and Haryana, OMSS wheat prices have been fixed on the basis of MSP and applicable state taxes paid by FCI during the procurement of the grain.
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