Wheat prices: No action to control wheat prices yet: Food Minister Sanjeev Chopra

The government has ruled out any measures to control wheat prices as it closely monitors the price movements of the product. The rise in foodgrain prices is in line with the rise in the minimum support price (MSP) and general inflationary trends, said Sanjeev Chopra, secretary, food department.

“The price of rice is just flat. Wheat prices have gone up by 7 per cent at retail after wheat ban was imposed in May and if the increase in minimum support price (MSP) is taken into account, the price increase is 4-5 per cent,” he said.

Chopra said that no decision has been taken yet on Open Market Sake Scheme (OMSS) on wheat to cool the prices, adding that wheat and rice positions are comfortable and more than the guidelines.

The government will have 113 LMT of wheat on April 1, 2023 against the buffer of 75 LMT required. Estimated stock of rice as of April 1, 2023 is 237 LMT against a buffer of 137 LMT. The government has procured 277.37 LMT of rice as on November 21 this year compared to last year’s 263.42 MT during the same period. However, its wheat procurement declined to 187.92 lakh tonnes in the 2022-23 marketing year from 434.44 lakh tonnes due to decline in domestic production and aggressive private procurement.

On cooking oil, Chopra said that retail cooking oil prices are on the decline and prices are likely to fall further.

In May, the government banned wheat exports to deplete domestic supplies and keep prices under control. In September, it also banned the export of broken rice.

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