Home / News / India /  Govt will soon take steps to control inflation in wheat, atta: Food Secretary

Retail prices of wheat and wheat flour (atta) have been on the rise, and the government is taking steps to control the increasing rates, according to Food Secretary Sanjeev Chopra. He stated that the government is closely monitoring the prices of wheat and atta and considering all options to bring them down. He said that "all options are being explored" to bring down the prices.

The senior official added that the government is taking necessary measures to ensure that wheat and atta are made available to consumers at reasonable prices, particularly during the current difficult economic condition. The government is working on multiple fronts to address the issue, including increasing the procurement of wheat from the farmers, the import of wheat, and increasing the distribution of wheat through the public distribution system and ration shops.

"We are finding that there is an uptick in the prices of wheat and atta. We are aware of the issue. Various options are being explored by the government and very soon we will come up with our response," Chopra told reporters when asked about rising prices of atta that has touched 38 per kg and the steps being taken by the food ministry to check prices.

He stated, "We are closely monitoring pricing," and added that the ministry would shortly take action. Chopra did not, however, elaborate on the ministry's proposed countermeasures.

The secretary claimed that the FCI godowns have adequate supplies of wheat and rice. Following a minor reduction in domestic production and a dramatic decline in the FCI's purchase for the central pool, the Centre had restricted wheat exports in May in an effort to stabilise prices.

When asked if the government would sell wheat on the open market, he replied that all possibilities were being looked into.

According to reports, last month, the government was thinking about using the Open Market Sale Scheme (OMSS) to sell 15-20 lakh tonnes of wheat to large customers like flour millers in order to rein in soaring retail prices.

According to the OMSS policy, the government occasionally permits the Food Corporation of India (FCI), a state-run corporation, to sell food grains, particularly wheat and rice, to wholesale customers and independent merchants at pre-set rates in the open market. The goal is to increase supply during the slow season and lower overall open market pricing.

Even the flour millers have asked the government to sell the remaining wheat supplies in the FCI godowns so that the open market might be filled.

Due to heat waves in a few growing regions, India's wheat production decreased from 109.59 million tonnes the previous year to 106.84 million tonnes in the 2021–22 crop year (July–June). Additionally, the procurement declined significantly this year, reaching 19 million tonnes.

The current rabi (winter-sown) season has a higher area covered by the wheat crop. Beginning in April 2023, fresh wheat crops will be purchased.

(With inputs from PTI)

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