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Centre mandates Stock Disclosure of Rice/Paddy for Traders/Wholesalers, Retailers, Big Chain Retailers, Processors/Millers

12 February 2024

Government of India decides to start retail sale of rice to consumers under brand "Bharat Rice"

No proposal to revisit export regulations on essential commodities: Food Secretary

Wheat prices showing decreasing trends, 75.26 LMT Wheat sold under OMSS(D) so far: Food Secretary

In order to manage the overall food inflation and to prevent unscrupulous speculation, the Government of India has decided that stock position of Rice/Paddy must be declared by Traders/Wholesalers, Retailers, Big Chain Retailers and Processors/Millers in all States and Union Territories, until further orders. The respective legal entities i.e. Traders/Wholesalers,  Retailers, Big Chain Retailers, Processors/Millers have to declare stock position of Paddy and Rice in categories such as (i) Broken Rice, (ii) Non-Basmati White Rice, (iii) Parboiled Rice, (iv) Basmati Rice, (v) Paddy. The entities are expected to update it every Friday on the portal (https://evegoils.nic.in/rice/login.html) of Department of Food and Public Distribution.  The stock position of Rice shall be declared by these entities within 7 days of issue of the order.

Further, to check inflationary trends in food economy, it has been decided to start retail sale of ‘Bharat Rice’ to general consumers.  In the first phase, 5 LMT of rice has been allocated for retail sale under ‘Bharat Rice’ brand through 3 agencies viz NAFED, NCCF and Kendriya Bhandar. Retail price for sale of Bharat Rice to general consumers will be Rs. 29/kg. Rice will be sold in 5 Kg and 10 Kg Bags. The Bharat Rice will be available for purchase from mobile vans and physical outlets of the three central co-operative agencies to begin with, and it will also be available through other retail chains including e-commerce platforms very soon.

The domestic prices of rice are increasing despite a good crop this Kharif, ample stocks with FCI and in the pipeline and various regulations in place on Rice exports. The retail prices have increased by 14.51% over the past year. In an effort to curb the prices of rice, various steps have already been taken by the Government.

Sufficient stock of good quality Rice is available with FCI which is being offered to traders/wholesalers under OMSS at a reserve price of Rs. 29/Kg. In order to increase the sale of rice in the open market, GoI reduced the Reserve Price of rice from Rs. 3100/ Qtl to Rs. 2900/Qtl. and the minimum and maximum quantity of rice was revised to 1 MT and 2000 MT respectively.  In addition to this, regular publicity has been done by the FCI regional offices for wider outreach. As a result, the sale of rice has gradually increased. Till 31.01.2024, 1.66 LMT rice has been sold in the open market which is the highest sale in any year under OMSS (D) for rice.

The export policy of Broken Rice has been amended from “Free” to “Prohibited” w.e.f. 9th Sep, 2022. In respect of Non-Basmati Rice, which constitutes about 25% of total rice exports, an export duty of 20% has been imposed w.e.f. 8th September, 2022 to lower the prices of rice. Subsequently, the Export Policy of Non-Basmati White Rice was amended to ‘Prohibited’ with effect from 20th July 2023. In Basmati Rice, the contracts for Basmati exports with the value of USD 950 per MT only and above are being registered for issue of Registration–cum– Allocation Certificate (RCAC). 20% export duty on parboiled rice has been imposed which will be applicable till 31st March, 2024. All these measures have curbed the pace of increasing trend of rice prices in domestic market.

The Department of Food and Public Distribution is also maintaining a close watch over the stock position of Wheat to control prices and ensure easy availability in the country.  The All-India average Domestic Wholesale & Retail price of Wheat is showing decreasing trend over a month and year. Atta (Wheat) prices too, are showing decreasing trend over a week, month and year in the All India average Domestic Wholesale and Retail sections.

In order to increase the availability of wheat in the open market and to control the prices of wheat, the Government of India has been offloading wheat in the market through weekly e-auction from 28.06.2023. A total of 101.5 LMT wheat has been allocated by the Government of India for offloading under Open Market Sale Scheme (Domestic) [OMSS(D)] at reserve price of Rs. 2150/Qtl for FAQ and Rs. 2125/Qtl for URS. To increase the availability of wheat and to cater to the demand of wheat in the open market, the weekly offering of wheat in the e-auction is being gradually increased from initial 2 LMT to the present weekly offering of 4.5 LMT. Till 31.01.2024, 75.26 LMT wheat has been sold under OMSS(D). It has now been decided to enhance the quantity of wheat being offered under OMSS in the weekly auctions to 5 LMT and also increase the lot size to 400 MT.

Sugar Ex-Mill prices have decreased by 3.5-4% after start of the crushing season and all India Retail and Wholesale prices of Sugar are stable.  More than 99.9% cane dues have been cleared in the Sugar Season 2022-23 and for current season 80% cane dues have been cleared so far.

The Government of India is also closely monitoring the domestic retail prices of edible oils to ensure that the full benefit of decrease in international prices is passed on to the end consumers. Government has taken following measures in order to control and ease the prices of edible oils in the domestic market: 

  • The Basic Duty on Crude Palm Oil, Crude Soyabean Oil and Crude Sunflower Oil was reduced from 2.5% to Nil. Further, the Agri-cess on these Oils was brought down from 20% to 5%. This duty structure has been extended upto 31st March, 2025.
  • The Basic Duty on Refined Soybean oil, Refined Sunflower Oil and Refined Palm Oils has been reduced to 12.5%. This duty has been extended up to 31st March, 2025.

The international prices of major Edible oils such as Crude Soybean Oil, Crude Sunflower Oil, Crude Palm Oil and Refined Palm Oils are showing a decreasing trend since last year. Due to continuous efforts made by the Government to ensure that the decrease in the international prices of edible oils gets passed on fully in the domestic market, the retail prices of Mustard Oil, Soyabean Oil, Sunflower Oil and RBD Palmolien have decreased by 18.32%, 17.07%, 23.81% and 12.01% as on 1st February, 2024 respectively over a year. Owing to the proactive measures taken by the Government, prices of edible oils in the country are at lowest level since two years     

The above measures have helped in slowing down the pace of increase in prices of essential commodities in the country. The Department of Food & Public Distribution closely monitors and reviews the prices of Essential Commodities in the country and steps in whenever any intervention is required to ensure affordability of these commodities which form an important part of the diet.

Source : pib.gov.in

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