Centre launches sale of ‘Bharat’ Atta at an MRP of ₹ 27.50/Kg

New Delhi: The Union Minister for Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution, Textiles and Commerce and Industry, Piyush Goyal flagged off 100 mobile vans for sale of wheat flour (Atta) under ‘Bharat’ brand, today from Kartavya Path, New Delhi. The atta will be available at an MRP not exceeding ₹ 27.50/Kg. This is the latest among a series of steps taken by the GoI for the welfare of ordinary consumers. The launch of retail sale of ‘Bharat’ brand Atta will increase supplies in the market at affordable rates, and will help in continued moderation of prices of this important food item.

‘Bharat’ Atta will be available at all physical and mobile outlets of Kendriya Bhandar, NAFED and NCCF from today and will be expanded to other co-op/retail outlets.

2.5 LMT of wheat @ Rs.21.50/kg has been allocated for Semi-Government and cooperative organizations i.e. Kendriya Bhandar, NCCF and NAFED under Open Market Sale Scheme [OMSS (D)] for converting to atta and offer it for sale to the public under ‘Bharat Atta’ brand at an MRP not exceeding ₹ 27.50/Kg.

Speaking on the occasion, Shri Goyal said that Centre’s intervention has stabilised price of essential commodities. He said that various measures were taken in the past with regard to Tomato and Onion to cool off prices. In addition, the Centre is also providing Bharat Dal at Rs. 60 per kg through Kendriya Bhandar, NAFED and NCCF to provide relief to consumers.

The procured wheat and rice is offered completely free of cost under Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana (PMGKAY) through a network of about 5 lakh FPS in the country to about 80 crore PDS beneficiaries. Further, about 7 LMT of coarse grains/millets were also procured at MSP and distributed under TPDS/Other Welfare Schemes in 22-23.

Many measures are taken for the benefit of ordinary consumers who are not covered under TPDS. Sale of ‘Bharat Atta’, ‘Bharat Dal’ and tomatoes and Onions at affordable and fair prices is one such measure. So far, 59183 MT dal has already been sold, benefitting ordinary consumers.

Food Corporation of India (FCI) is conducting Nationwide weekly e-auctions for sale of wheat under OMSS(D). Only wheat processors (Atta chakkis /roller flour mills) can participate in these weekly e-auctions. FCI is offering FAQ and URS Wheat for sale @Rs. 2150 and 2125 per quintal respectively, in accordance with the prices fixed by Government. Traders are not allowed to participate in the e-auction as the intent of the Government is to ensure that purchased wheat is directly processed and released to ordinary consumers at affordable prices. Each bidder can take upto 200 MT in the weekly e-auction. FCI is offering 3 LMT of wheat for sale in the weekly e-auctions under OMSS(D). So far, 65.22 LMT of wheat has already been released into the open market by FCI as per Government directions.

Government of India has significantly increased the total amount of wheat to be offered for sale under OMSS (D) to 101.5 LMT till March 2024, instead of 57 LMT till December 2023 as part of a series of measures taken to moderate wheat prices. A significant decision has been taken to offload a further quantity of upto 25 LMT (over and above 101.5 LMT) of wheat from the buffer stock, if needed, by 31.3.2024.

Export of wheat has already been banned in order to ensure sufficient domestic availability of this commodity. Government has also imposed limits on stock holding of wheat by different categories of entities like wholesalers/traders, processors, retailers and big chain retailers, to prevent hoarding. Stock holding of wheat is being monitored on a regular basis, so as to ensure that wheat/atta is released into the market by traders, processors and retailers on a regular basis, and there is no stockpiling/hoarding. These steps are taken to check increase in the market prices of wheat by increasing its supplies.

Government has also banned export of non- basmati rice and imposed a floor price of USD 950 for export of Basmati rice. Under OMSS(D) FCI is offering 4 LMT of rice for sale in the weekly e auctions, to increase availability of rice in the domestic market. FCI is offering Rice for sale @Rs. 29.00-29.73/ Kg in accordance with the prices fixed by Government.

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