By Shivam Dwivedi
The Food Corporation of India will be auctioning off around 8 lakh tonnes of food grains on Wednesday 5th July. This is part of a plan by the government to keep wheat and rice prices in check in the country.
In the last 3 days, the government has sent out tenders for 4.07 lakh tonnes of wheat and around 3.86 lakh tonnes of rice under the open market sale scheme (OMCS). In a departure from its previous policy, the government has decided to hold e-auctions on a weekly basis instead of alternate weeks, and it will cover both wheat and rice in the same week. With the exception of three states where minor adjustments were made, all other states have been allocated the same quantities as in the first round of tender.
Meanwhile, in the first round of the rice e-auction, Punjab has been allocated 1.5 lt, which accounts for 39% of the total quantity available for sale. An official source stated that Punjab’s higher allocation is due to its excess stock. However, traders have expressed concerns about the allocation, stating that many consuming states have not received an adequate quantity while Punjab, which primarily consumes wheat, has received a significant allotment.
Notably, there will be no rice auction in Madhya Pradesh, Haryana, Assam, Chhattisgarh, and Telangana. Officials have clarified that these states were excluded due to the ongoing procurement of rabi-grown paddy, which presents a possibility of recycling. However, millers have argued that the reserve price set at Rs3,100/quintal leaves no room for recycling.
During the first e-auction, Bihar was allocated 30,000 tonnes of rice, while Uttar Pradesh received 15,000 tonnes, West Bengal obtained 2,300 tonnes, Odisha secured 10,000 tonnes, Jharkhand was allotted 17,000 tonnes, Andhra Pradesh acquired 7,000 tonnes, Karnataka received 33,000 tonnes, and Kerala was assigned 10,000 tonnes.
The conditions for bidders remain the same for the rice auction as well. Bidders must possess an FSSAI license and are prohibited from reselling the rice to bulk buyers, similar to the conditions in the wheat auction.
Additionally, the maximum cap of 100 tonnes per entity and the requirement of having a GST number in a particular state to participate in that state’s auction have been retained in the guidelines for the rice auction.
This article has been republished from Krishi Jagran