The price of atta, which is wheat flour, is around Rs 38 per kg. On Thursday, the Union Food Ministry said that cooperatives like Kendriya Bhandar and NAFED have agreed to sell it for Rs 29.5 per kg under the name “Bharat Atta.”
The Food Ministry said in a statement that Kendriya Bhandar started selling atta for Rs. 29.5/kg on Thursday. From February 6, the National Cooperative Consumers’ Federation of India Limited (NCCF) and the National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation of India (NAFED) will also sell at this price.
According to information on the website of the Department of Consumer Affairs, the average daily retail price of atta in all of India was Rs 38.1 per kg on Thursday. This is up from Rs 31.14 per kg a year ago. In order to lower prices, the government has decided to sell 30 lakh metric tonnes (LMT) of wheat on the open market through a scheme called “open market sale” (OMSS).
On Thursday, Union Food and Public Distribution Secretary Sanjeev Chopra met with the Food Corporation of India (FCI), Kendriya Bhandar, NAFED, and NCCF. It was decided that these organisations will take up to 3 LMT of wheat from FCI depots, the ministry said. After turning the wheat into atta, they will sell it to consumers for Rs 29.5/kg at different stores, mobile vans, and other places “to stop inflation in the food economy,” according to a statement.
It was also decided that corporations, cooperatives, federations, or self-help groups of state governments or UTs “may also get wheat” from the Centre at Rs 23.5/kg “to sell atta to consumers at Rs 29.5/kg,” the ministry said.
Since last year, going up
In a separate statement, the ministry said that FCI had sold 8.88 LMT of wheat in the first e-auction.
“In the first e-auction on February 1, the Food Corporation of India offered 22.0 LMT of the 25 LMT of wheat stock set aside for e-auction wheat from the Central pool stock to the market through various routes under the Open Market Sale Scheme (Domestic),” the ministry said.
There were more than 1,100 bidders, and “8.88 LMT was sold on the first day of the e-auction in 22 states,” the article said.
The ministry says that until the second week of March, wheat will still be sold all over the country through e-auctions every Wednesday.
“Offloading of 30 LMT wheat in the market through OMSS (D) scheme within two months…will have a wider reach and an immediate effect on the rising prices of wheat and atta,” the statement said.
The government decided last week to sell 30 LMT of wheat from the Central pool to the market.
After a meeting of a group of ministers led by the Home Minister, Amit Shah, the move was made.