Food Corporation of India today said it will sell immediately 3 million tonnes of wheat to bulk consumers in the open market in an effort to bring down prices.

Last week, the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) had approved sale of 6.5 million tonnes of wheat under the open market sale scheme (OMSS) through the tender process.

“Out of 6.5 million tonnes of wheat approved for OMSS, FCI will immediately release 3 million tonnes for bulk consumers,” Food Corporation of India (FCI) Chairman C Amarsingh told PTI.

A minimum 25,000 tonnes of wheat will be released for smaller States such as Himachal Pradesh and a maximum of 1 lakh tonnes to big States every week, he said.

FCI will issue weekly tenders and the base price will be the MSP and local tax and transportation charges, he added.

“We will release wheat for tender sale as soon as the quota of one lakh tonnes completes. This will improve supply in the market and suppress prices,” Amarsingh said.

In June, the CCEA had approved 3.3 million tonnes of wheat under the OMSS of which over 3 million tonnes has already been sold to bulk users.

The Government has surplus stocks in view of record production last year.

Wheat stocks in the central pool stood at 40.58 million tonnes at the end of October 2012.

Besides, due to better support price and good monsoon, the country had harvested a record 93.90 million tonnes of wheat this year.

Inflation declined marginally to 7.45 per cent in October this year.

(This article was published on November 16, 2012)
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