Government Reduces Wheat Stock Limit To 2,000 Tonnes, Assures Of Ample Essential Commodity Stock

All entities will be given a month's time to align with the revised wheat stock limit by 12th October.
Wheat Stock
Wheat Stock

Indian government has reduced the wheat stock limit for traders and wholesalers to 2,000 tonnes while attributing price rise in wheat as handiwork of "vested interests claiming artificial scarcity."

All entities will be given a month's time to align with the revised wheat stock limit by 12th October. With wheat's retail price hovering around Rs. 30 around India, Food Secretary Sanjeev Chopra described the prices at retail level "still holding good" while asking for the excess held stock to be released in the open market to cool down prices, according to a report by CNBC-TV18.

All wheat stocking entities are already uploading stock data on the government portal. Stating that India's current wheat stock of 255 LT (lakh tonnes) is much above the requirement of 202 LT, Chopra pointed out 30 LT surplus wheat is available over and above the buffer stocks, with 57 LT wheat already deployed for market intervention.

Terming the current sugar stocks of 85 LT sugar as sufficient for 3.5 months of consumption, the Secretary refuted Indian Sugar Mills Association's (ISMA) view of a sharp dip in sugar stocks.

Informing that the government is still receiving feedback from sugar mills and traders on stocks available with them, he said that sugar prices are being monitored and attributed the rise in prices of sugar and rice to rumours of crop failure and shortage.

Dismissing rumours of lower rice harvest in the current season by referring to data from the Ministry of Agriculture, he assured that the government doesn't expect any sharp upswing in any food commodity prices in the upcoming festive season.

Even as the government is examining the lower rice offtake under OMSS to take corrective action as situation demands, the current stock is 230 LT. Intensive enforcement drives are being conducted by Central and state officers to act against hoarders under the Essential Commodities Act.

The Secretary said that despite an uptick in demand for non-basmati rice, prices haven't risen after export curbs were imposed. For edible oil, he pointed out that the current stocks of 37 LT as far more than 23 LT a year back.

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