The Centre on Saturday said it has sufficient foodgrain stocks to meet the requirements under the food security law and other welfare schemes.
The government is also regularly monitoring the prices of essential commodities.
“Government of India has sufficient foodgrain stocks under central pool to meet the requirement of NFSA and its other welfare schemes as well as for additional allocation of PMGKAY,” an official statement said.
About 159 lakh tonnes of wheat and 104 lakh tonnes of rice will be available as on January 1, 2023, as against the respective buffer norms requirement of 138 lakh tonnes of wheat and 76 lakh tonnes of rice as on January 1.
As on December 15th, around 180 lakh tonnes of wheat and 111 lakh tonnes of rice are available in the central pool.
Buffer norms requirements have been envisaged for particular dates of the year as on 1st of April, 1st of July, 1st of October and 1st of January, the ministry noted.
The stock position of wheat and rice under central pool have always remained well above the buffer norms, it asserted.
Around 227 lakh tonnes of wheat and 205 lakh tonnes of rice were available as on 1st of October, 2022 against the respective buffer norms requirements of 205 lakh tonnes of wheat and 103 lakh tonnes of rice as on 1st of October.
“Though procurement of wheat during last season was on lower side due to lesser production coupled with selling by farmers at prices higher than MSP in the open market consequent to geopolitical situation, yet enough stock of wheat will still be available in central pool to cater to the needs of the country till the time next wheat crop arrives,” the ministry said.
Further, the allocations under the National Food Security Act (NFSA) as well as Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana (PMGKAY) have also been revised in favour of rice, to ensure having sufficient wheat stock in central pool.
Under the PMGKAY, the Centre provides 5 kilogram foodgrains per month free of cost to around 80 crore people covered under the NFSA.
The Union government has enhanced the MSP (minimum support price) of wheat crop this year to Rs 2,125 per quintal against the last year’s MSP of Rs 2,015 per quintal for RMS (rabi marketing season) 2022-23.
Thus, with increase in MSP of Rs 110/quintal coupled with fairly good climatic conditions, it is expected that the production and procurement of wheat during next season shall remain normal.
The procurement of wheat would commence from April 2023 and as per initial assessment there has been a fair increase in the sowing of wheat crop as compared to last year.
The Centre said it has ensured that sufficient stock of foodgrains are available in the central pool to meet the requirement of all the welfare schemes across the country and prices remain under control.
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