Govt says will take steps to curb any abnormal rise in wheat prices

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The central government said on Wednesday it would take action if wheat prices rose abnormally in the country while saying it was closely monitoring prices in the retail market. Union Food Secretary Sanjeev Chopra said the wheat and rice stock situation was comfortable. He said it was above government buffer requirements.

Union Minister Sanjeev Chopra said, “Rice prices are just flat. Wheat prices increased by 7% in retail after the imposition of the wheat ban in May and if we take into account the increase in the minimum support price (MSP), the price increase is 4 to 5%.

In May 2022, the Center banned wheat exports to boost domestic supply and control prices. Its wheat purchases fell to 187.92 lakh tonnes in the 2022-23 marketing year from 434.44 lakh tonnes due to lower domestic production and aggressive buying by private parties. Also in September, the Center banned exports of broken rice, anticipating a decline in rice production.

When asked if the Union Ministry is considering any measures to control wheat prices, Sanjeev Chopra said: “The current position does not warrant any action other than what has already been done. If we see any abnormal increase in prices, then obviously we will intervene with measures at our disposal. »

Asked about edible oil, Sanjeev Chopra said domestic prices are expected to decline as prices outside the country are trending lower.

Regarding PMGKAY – the free ration program – Sanjeev Chopra said the Center will make a decision on whether or not to extend the program.

Regarding the price situation of essential commodities, the Managing Director of the Food Corporation of India (FCI), Ashok KK Meena, said: “Compared to last month, there is a marginal increase in retail and wholesale prices of wheat and the wholesale price of rice. The increase in the retail price of rice is negligible and prices are under control. »

(With contributions from the agency)

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