Two-thirds of wheat under open market sale goes to 10 states

As much as 66 per cent of the 4.08 lakh tons (litres) of wheat Offered for sale under an open market sale scheme in the first round of online auction reserved for 10 states, whose allocation under the National Food Security Act (NFSA) a year ago fell by 6 liters each month.

According to the government tenders that he put forward Food Corporation of India (FCI) On Friday, up to 2.68 liters were allocated to Bihar, Jharkhand, Odisha, West Bengal, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and Tamil Nadu. Up to 5.97 liters per month of wheat quota reductions in these states were reduced and reallocated as rice in May 2022, which is still ongoing.

A maximum of 40,500 tons was offered for sale in West Bengal, followed by 40,000 tons in Uttar Pradesh and 38,000 tons in Maharashtra.

Bihar allocated 32,500 tons in the first round, while Gujarat received 30,000 tons, and both Madhya Pradesh and Punjab 25,000 tons each. Other states with high allocations include Odisha (21,000 tons), Haryana, Rajasthan, and Kerala (20,000 tons each). Karnataka and Tamil Nadu, which have a large number of flour mills, are allocated 18,000 tons and 13,470 tons respectively.

The government’s allocation of wheat quota under the open sale scheme says a lot about where the government’s priority lies. For example, the monthly quota of 24,830.48 tons of wheat for the state was reduced to zero last year by increasing the rice allotment by the same amount under the PDS. Now, the country has received 21,000 tons under the open operations management system,” said an industry expert.

The expert said that at least a partial restoration of the cut in wheat allowances could improve access for the disadvantaged who buy on the open market. Many experts have suggested that the rising wheat prices are partly due to a large segment of the population turning to the open market to meet their requirements – at least 5 liters per month.

The FCI stipulated that wheat purchased from the FCI under OMSS would be used domestically and should not be exported by the successful bidders. Also, the purchased wheat will not be resold to the state government, its agencies or co-operatives.

The wheat cannot be resold to bulk buyers, the FCI said in the bid document. “If the bidder violates any of the terms and conditions of the contract or is found to provide any false or incorrect information at any stage, his deposited funds (EMD) will be confiscated,” the statement reads. However, the FCI did not specify who the “bulk buyer” was.