No one is taker to governments’ rice whereas price rises- The New Indian Express

4 min read

Express News Service

NEW DELHI: The Food Corporation of India was only able to sell off less than 5% of allocated rice in the past six months. In the meantime, the Reserve Bank of India has flagged the concern of the rising price of rice by 13% year on year.

The government of India had allocated 25 lakh metric tonnes(LMT) under open market sale schemes in the domestic market (OMSS-D) but only 1.19 LMT of rice has been sold in the open market to private traders despite FCI Regional Offices actively promoting this initiative through extensive advertising.

The government is clueless about why traders are not participating in auctions and lifting rice. However, to encourage greater participation, bidders are now allowed to bid for any quantity of rice from 1 to 2000 MT. A reserve price for rice ranging from Rs 2900 to Rs. 3100/quintal has been fixed by the authorities. However, commodity experts say cheaper and better quality rice is available in the market.

“Regular advertisement is being done to ensure that benefits of the OMSS (D) policy can be availed by the general public,” said K K Meena, Chief Managing Director, of FCI.

The government has also dispelled the logic of poor quality rice being sold as they served reporters samples of cooked rice for taste.

“The rice offered under the Central pool is of excellent quality, and traders are invited to actively engage in e-auctions to ensure easy and affordable availability for consumers in the market” said Meena.

The current FCI holding wheat and rice in the central pool is more than a buffer requirement to meet different schemes of the government. As of December 14, the Country’s wheat buffer stock is at 181.79 LMT while its rice buffer stock is 420.29 LMT. 

However, the government has managed to sell around 48.12 LMT wheat in the open market to bring down the wheat price to some extent. The government will sell another 53 LMT wheat in the next four months. 

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