By April, the government’s wheat supplies might be insufficient.

The stocks kept with the Food Corporation of India (FCI) may fall below the buffer requirement by the start of the next fiscal year as a result of the government’s decision to suppress price increases by selling more wheat on the open market. According to official sources who spoke with FE, the grain stock with FCI might fall below the buffer of 7.48 MT by April 1 if an extra 2.5 million MT is allocated in addition to the 10 MT of wheat that was allowed for calibrated release under the open market sale scheme (OMSS) in the current fiscal year. Weekly e-auction sales of 4.46 MT of wheat from FCI’s stock have been made since June in the current fiscal year. As of December 20, the weekly allotment of grain for e-auctions has been raised to 0.4 MT. We may use buffer stock to curb the possibility of price rise in the coming months after selling 10 MT of wheat in the open market, an official stated. New crop arrivals starting on April 1 are crucial to increasing the government’s wheat supply. Wheat stock with FCI is currently 19.78 MT, the lowest since 2016. For deliveries under the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana through the conclusion of the current fiscal year, about 6 MT of grain are needed. According to an official, the government plans to sell an additional 5.6 MT of wheat this fiscal year, which could put the grain storage held by FCI extremely close to the buffer. Furthermore, at the minimum support price (MSP) rate, Kendriya Bhandar, the farmers’ cooperatives NAFED and the National Cooperative Consumers Federation (NCCF) removed 69,000 tonnes of wheat from the Federal Cooperatives (FCI) to create “Bharat Atta,” which is sold to consumers at Rs 27.5 per kg. The food ministry increased the amount of grain allotted to these organizations by 0.4 MT last week. On 08th Dec 2023, the government lowered the 2000 tonne wheat stock holding cap for dealers and wholesalers to 1000 tonne. In June 2023, restrictions on wheat stock holdings were put in place. The purpose of this, according to food secretary Sanjeev Chopra, is to stop stockpiling and avoid creating artificial scarcity.