Sale of wheat, rice to states under OMSS stopped for buffer, control prices

By Press Trust of India
The Centre on Wednesday said it has discontinued the sale of wheat and rice to states under Open Market Sale Scheme (OMSS) with effect from June 13 to maintain adequate buffer stock and control price rise amid concerns of kharif crop being impacted due to expected shortfall in monsoon rains.

This was informed by Minister of State for Food and Consumer Affairs Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti said in a written reply to the Lok Sabha.
“Considering expected deficiency in rainfall caused by El-Nino as speculated by IMD due to which Kharif crop production in country may be adversely affected, and in order to control inflationary trends and to maintain adequate stock levels under central pool for distribution under National Food Security Act and other welfare schemes…, the sale of wheat and rice under Open Market Sale Scheme (Domestic) for State Governments, including Tamil Nadu, has been discontinued with effect from June 13,” she said.

Replying to a separate question on wheat, the minister said the procurement of the crop has been 262.02 lakh tonnes at minimum support price (MSP) during the rabi marketing season 2023-24 (April-March), which is 39.43 per cent more than 187.92 lakh tonnes in the previous year.
“The stock position of wheat under the central pool is 301.45 lakh tonnes as against the buffer norms of 275.80 lakh tonnes as on July 1 2023. It is evident that stock level of wheat is much above the buffer norms requirement,” she said.

The procurement of wheat last year was 187.92 lakh tonnes.

“Due to early summer and geopolitical situation, there was a rise in global prices of wheat. However, farmers across the country benefitted from the higher market rates as the majority of farmers sold their produce to private traders at higher market rates,” the minister said.

State governments of Karnataka, West Bengal and Tamil Nadu have requested for wheat and rice under OMSS (D) Policy, which was not acceded to due to the discontinuation of the sale of wheat and rice to states under OMSS(D) 2023, the minister said.
This article has been republished from The Business Standard

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