Wheat price hike not unusual will intervene if needed: Center

Terming the rise in wheat prices as “not unusual”, the government said it has a “comfortable” stock position and will intervene as and when required.

Addressing a press conference, Food and Public Distribution Secretary Sudhanshu Pandey said: “The price hike is not unusual as it is being anticipated or assumed.”

Pandey’s remarks assume significance given the sharp rise in recent months in wheat and atta (wheat flour) prices. According to the food department, the wholesale price of wheat was recorded at Rs 2,757 per quintal, 18.26 per cent (Rs 2,331 per quintal) over a year ago and 11.42 per quintal cent (Rs 2,474 per quintal) higher than two years ago.

When the government would intervene, Pandey said: “When the government feels that the increase is abnormal, it will intervene.”

“We have stock of rice and wheat, and there is nothing to worry about, and we also have surplus available for market intervention if needed,” Pandey said.

The Indian Express reported on Monday that during the first five months (April-August) of the financial year 2022-23, Indian wheat exports doubled from last year’s level. India exported 43.50 lakh metric tonnes (LMT) of wheat during April-August 2022-23, an increase of 116.7 per cent over the same month last year.

Sharing the details of the stock position, the officials said that against the buffer requirement of 205 LMT on October 1, 227 lakh MT of wheat was available in the central pool as on October 1, 2022.

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