Centre Launches Sale Of ‘Bharat’ Atta

  • Union Minister for Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution, Textiles and Commerce and Industry, Shri Piyush Goyal flagged off 100 mobile vans.
  • For the sale of wheat flour (Atta) under the ‘Bharat’ brand.
  • From Kartavya Path, New Delhi.
  • Will be available at an MRP of 27.50/Kg.
  • Will increase supplies in the market at affordable rates.
  • Will be available at all physical and mobile outlets of Kendriya Bhandar, NAFED and NCCF and will be expanded to other co-op/retail outlets.
  • 2.5 LMT of wheat @ Rs.21.50/kg has been allocated under the Open Market Sale Scheme(OMSS) for converting to Atta and selling under the ‘Bharat Atta’ brand

BACKGROUND:

  • The Government of India has taken a series of steps to stabilize the prices of essential food grains while also ensuring fair price to the farmers.
  • Bharat Dal (Chana dal) is already being sold @ Rs.60 per kg along with onions @ Rs.25 per kg. 
  • For the farmers, GoI fixes the MSP (Minimum Support Price) of food grains, pulses, coarse grains and millets.
  • Nationwide procurement operations are undertaken to implement the PSS (Price Support Scheme) which ensures the benefit of MSP to farmers.
  • The procured wheat and rice are offered free of cost under Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana (PMGKAY) through a network of about 5 lakh FPS in the country to about 80 crore PDS beneficiaries.

E-AUCTION:

  • Food Corporation of India is conducting nationwide weekly e-auctions for the sale of wheat under OMSS.
  • Only wheat processors (Atta chakkis /roller flour mills) can participate.
  • Traders are not allowed to participate as the intent of the Government is to ensure that purchased wheat is directly processed and released to ordinary consumers at affordable prices.
  • Each bidder can take up to 200 MT in the weekly e-auction.

     

PRICE CONTROL:

  • Export of wheat has already been banned to ensure sufficient domestic availability.
  • Imposition of limits on the stock holding of wheat by different categories of entities like wholesalers/traders, processors, retailers and big chain retailers, to prevent hoarding.
  • Stock holding of wheat is being monitored regularly. 
  • These steps are taken to check the increase in the market prices 
  • Export of non-basmati rice was banned
  • Floor price of USD 950 for the export of Basmati rice was imposed.

Government has taken following measures 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. The Agri-cess on these Oils was brought down from 20% to 5%.
  • Basic Duty on Refined Soybean oil and Refined Sunflower Oil was reduced to 17.5% from 32.5% and the Basic Duty on Refined Palm Oils was reduced from 17.5% to 12.5% on 21.12.2021.
  • To maintain availability, the Government has extended the free import of Refined Palm Oils till further orders.
  • Import duty on Refined Sunflower Oil and Refined Soybean Oil has been reduced from 17.5% to 12.5%. 
  • Price Stabilization Fund (PSF) has been set up to check the volatility in the prices of agri-horticultural commodities to mitigate the hardships consumers face. 
  • Under the PSF, dynamic buffer stock of pulses (Tur, Urad, Moong, Masur and Gram) and onion are being maintained. 
  • The consumers and farmers are the beneficiaries of the PSF.

Objectives of PSF are:

  • to promote direct purchase from farmers/farmers’ associations at farm gate/mandi
  • to maintain a strategic buffer stock to discourage hoarding and unscrupulous speculation
  • to protect consumers by supplying such commodities at reasonable prices through calibrated release of stock.
Posted in Current Affairs.