The food ministry has made registration of flour millers with the Food and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) mandatory for participating in this season’s first e-auction of wheat by the Food Corporation of India (FCI) to bulk buyers which would commence next week.
The aim is to ensure only flour millers across the country have access to the wheat to be sold by FCI.
In the first auction for wheat this fiscal to be held on June 28, the FCI will be offering 0.5 million tonne (MT) of wheat to be sold in the open market to bulk buyers. The bids of the e-auction will be invited on Friday where each bulk buyer can purchase 10-100 tonne wheat per auction.
To cool down the retail cereal inflation which was at 12.65% for May, 2023 on year, the government has decided to offload 1.5 MT this fiscal.
As per the earlier announcement, the reserve prices of wheat to be sold in open market has been fixed at Rs 2,150/quintal for fair and average quality and Rs 2,125/quintal for those grains procured under relaxed norms which is at par with the Minimum Support Price (MSP) for the current season.
Sources told FE that the food ministry is likely to approve the reserve price of wheat soon.
In the earlier auction of wheat carried out during February – March this year, 3,000 tonne of grain was allocated for each trader per region per week.
FCI sold 3.37 MT of wheat to private bulk buyers such as flour millers and food companies during February 1-March 15, 2023 through weekly auctions.
The FCI’s open market sales stood at 7 MT in 2021-22 and 2.5 MT in 2020-21.
As per earlier policy, FCI has been selling surplus wheat to bulk buyers such as flour millers and food companies during the lean season (January-March)
At the beginning of the month, FCI had wheat stock of 31.1 MT. As per the official assessment, the corporation has around 8.7 MT of surplus wheat at its disposal after meeting the requirement under the National Food Security Act and buffer norm in the current year.
Under the open market sale policy, the government allows FCI to sell food grains, especially wheat and rice, at predetermined prices in the open market from time to time to bulk consumers and private traders.
Wheat procurement by agencies from farmers this season (April-June) has crossed 26.19 MT since MSP operations began on April 1, up 41% on year.
This article has ben republished from The Financial Express