Govt may allow additional wheat shipments from Central stocks

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on February 19, 2014 Published on February 19, 2014

To ease storage crisis caused by higher stocks and output

The Government may consider allowing additional exports of wheat from the Central pool stocks beyond March 31, in view of higher stocks and production estimates for the current rabi season.

“We may look at it…We have enough stocks,” said Food Minister KV Thomas, when asked whether the Government would allow further exports of wheat from the Central pool beyond March 2014.

“The Food Secretary is holding a meeting today to look at it,” Thomas told reporters on the sidelines of an event organised by the Bureau of Indian Standards. The Food Minister also said that the Government may extend the sale of wheat under the open market sale scheme (OMSS) by two months.

As on February 1, the wheat stocks in the Central pool stood at 24.2 million tonnes (mt), more than twice the buffer and strategic reserve norm of 11.2 mt as on January 1.

Further, the Agriculture Ministry in its latest estimates has pegged the wheat crop in the current rabi season at 95.6 mt.

Wheat harvesting is set to begin later this month in States such as Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh, while the crop is said to be in good conditions in the northern States of Punjab and Haryana.

The Government had allowed exports of 2 million tonnes from the Central pool till March 31 to create storage space for the new crop.

Of this, about 1.5 mt has been tendered, while the actual shipments so far were estimated at 8 lakh tonnes.

In the current financial year, total wheat shipments from both public and private parties are estimated at 4.6 mt till January, sources said. In 2012-13, the total wheat exports from the country stood at 6 mt.

Published on February 19, 2014
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