Amid rise in wheat prices, Centre curbs stock limit to 2000 MT

By Harikishan Sharma

In a move aimed at curbing rising retail and wholesale prices of wheat and atta (wheat flour), the Centre on Thursday reduced the wheat stock limit from 3,000 metric tonnes (MT) to 2,000 MT for traders, wholesalers, and big chain retailers.

“To soften prices of wheat, which are showing an increasing trend, Central Government has decided to revise the wheat stock limit from 3000 MT to 2000 MT with respect to traders/wholesalers and big chain retailers,” the Food Ministry said in a statement.

Giving a break-up of the stock limit, the ministry said it will be 2,000 MT for traders/wholesalers; 10 MT for each big chain retailer outlet; and 2,000 MT at “all their depots”.

“For other categories, there is no change in stock limits,” according to the statement. “All wheat stocking entities are required to register on the wheat stock limit portal and update the stock position every Friday. Any entity which is found to have not registered on the portal or violates the stock limits will be subject to suitable punitive action under Section 6 & 7 of Essential Commodities Act,1955.”

The ministry also stated that if stocks held by these entities are higher than the prescribed limit, they are required to bring it down to the prescribed stock limits “within 30 days of issue of the notification”.

“The Department of Food and Public Distribution is maintaining a close watch over the stock position of wheat to control prices and ensure easy availability in the country,” it stated.

On June 12, the Centre had issued Removal of Licensing Requirements, Stock Limits and Movement Restrictions on Specified Foodstuffs (Amendment) Order, 2023, in which the wheat stock limit was fixed at 3,000 MT for traders and big chain retailers. The order is applicable until March 31, 2024 for all states and UTs.

As per data available on the Department of Consumer Affairs’ portal, as on September 1, wheat stock in Central pool stood at 260.37 lakh MT — higher than last year’s 248.22 lakh MT but lower than 517.87 lakh MT on September 1, 2021.

This article has been republished from The Indian Express

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