The government, aiming to alleviate double-digit inflation in rice, has declared the sale of rice under the Bharat brand at Rs 25 per kilogram. This measure will be executed through outlets like the National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation of India (Nafed), National Cooperative Consumers' Federation (NCCF), and Kendriya Bhandar, as per a report by the Economic Times.
Last month, the prices of cereals experienced a 10.27 per cent increase, contributing to a rise in food inflation to 8.70 per cent for the month, compared to the previous month's reported rate of 6.61 per cent. Nearly half of the overall consumer price basket is attributed to food inflation.
Despite the government's effective management of surging wheat prices via increased quantities in open-market e-auctions facilitated by the Food Corporation of India (FCI), rice uptake has remained minimal. This poses a challenge for the government, particularly as it prepares for the upcoming general elections in 2024, given the inflation in crucial cereal staples, as per the report.
Recently, the Food Corporation of India (FCI) made revisions to its Open Market Sale Scheme (OMSS) rules for rice. Bidders now have the flexibility to bid for quantities within the range of 1 metric ton as the minimum and 2000 metric tons as the maximum. In a bid to increase the supply of rice in the market, this action has been implemented to elevate the sales of rice under OMSS.