Explained: How government plans to control wheat prices during festive season

Koustav Das

In preparation for the upcoming festive season, the government is formulating a strategy to control wheat prices by potentially increasing the sale of wheat in the open market.

Food Secretary Sanjeev Chopra, speaking at a gathering of wheat millers, emphasised that the country possesses an ample supply of wheat, and the government is actively exploring options to effectively regulate prices.

Chopra said, “There’s no shortage of wheat in the country, and all possibilities are being considered by the government to stabilize prices.”

Earlier this month, Chopra had indicated the government’s intent to release additional wheat stocks into the open market to ensure price stability during the forthcoming festive period.

Chopra’s consistent remarks on this matter coincide with industry demands for the removal of the 40 percent import tax on wheat to prevent price increases resulting from shortages.

However, the government has made it clear that it possesses substantial wheat stocks and intends to address any scarcity through open market sales, with no plans to eliminate the import duty on wheat.

Over recent months, wheat prices, like other cereals, have experienced a significant upswing. Wholesale wheat prices reached a seven-month high in August, prompting concerns about affordability and availability.

It is worth noting that in August, the government announced its commitment to provide 5 million metric tons of wheat and 2.5 million tons of rice to bulk consumers, with a particular focus on flour millers.

Moreover, data from the Ministry of Consumer Affairs showed that the average price of wheat has been consistent over the past month.

This article has been republished from The India Today.

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