Centre directs FCI to conduct e-auctions of wheat, rice to check inflation
The e-auction for rice under Open Market Sale Scheme (Domestic) would commence on July 5, 2023. The maximum quantity that a buyer can bid for is limited to 100 tonnes in this e-auction.
NEW DELHI: Chairman and Managing Director of Food Corporation of India Ashok KK Meena said that the central government has directed the agency to conduct the e-auctions of wheat and rice to check the "inflationary trends" and to control the price of such staple foodgrains.
The maximum quantity that a buyer can bid for is limited to 100 tonnes in this e-auction. To accommodate the small wheat processors and traders, the minimum quantity has been kept to 10 tonnes.
"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," a food ministry release said.
About 4 lakh tonnes of wheat is being offered in the 1st e-auction from 457 depots across the country.
The base price of wheat has been kept at the same level at Rs. 2150 per 100 kg. The base price of Rice is Rs 3100 per quintal.
The e-auction for rice under Open Market Sale Scheme (Domestic) would commence on July 5, 2023.
"6 weekly e-auctions of wheat were conducted by FCI till 15.03.2023. The total quantity of 33.7 LMT wheat was offloaded and the prices of Wheat came down by 19 per cent due to this massive intervention in a span of 45 days," the release added.
In order to manage overall food security and to prevent hoarding and unscrupulous speculation, the government earlier this month decided to impose stock limits on wheat for traders, wholesalers, retailers, big chain retailers and processors. The order will be applicable with immediate effect and will be applicable until March 31, 2024.
To manage the overall food security of the country as well as meet the needs of the neighbouring and other vulnerable countries amid the double whammy, India in 2022 amended the export policy of wheat by putting its export under the "prohibited" category, which is still in force.
Multiple rounds of heat waves in several wheat-growing regions in India before the rabi harvest last year affected crops. Wheat pods in the mature stage typically shrink if overexposed to heat.
This year too, there were reports from various key growing states that unseasonal rains have flattened standing crops in some regions. Wheat, a rabi crop was in an advanced maturing stage and was expected to hit mandis in a fortnight or so.