Wheat auction under OMSS is currently halted by FCI

The government-owned Food Corporation of India (FCI) announced on Monday that it has temporarily ceased selling wheat at reduced prices through electronic auctions to large groups of people, organizations, and State governments because the purchase of the new crop will start next month. In accordance with the Open Market Selling Scheme (OMSS), the FCI sold 33 lakh tonnes (lt) of wheat by electronic auction up until March 15; as of this writing, 31 lt of the grain have been purchased.

By March 31st, they must increase the balance quantity. “The latest e­auction of wheat to bulk users was undertaken on March 15. The auction has been paused for now as the purchase of the fresh crop would ramp up in the coming days,” FCI Managing Director Ashok K Meena told PTI. The OMSS has also stopped selling wheat to organizations like Nafed and state governments. Only if a necessity to intervene in the market arises would the wheat auction be resumed, he stressed.

In January, the government announced plans to sell wheat in the open market from its buffer stock under the OMSS in an effort to rein in soaring wheat and wheat flour prices. The OMSS was given permission to sell 50 lt of wheat altogether. FCI was required to sell a total of 45 lt of wheat to bulk buyers through weekly e-auctions by March 15 out of the allotted amount. A little over 3 lt of wheat was set aside for State governments, and 2 lt was given to organizations like Nafed for processing into wheat flour and selling at a price of ₹27.50 per kilogram.

The reserve price for fair and average (FAQ) quality wheat under the OMSS was likewise set at a discounted cost of  ₹2,150 per quintal, while it was set at  ₹2,125 per quintal for wheat under relaxed specifications (URS). In contrast to the 18.79 million tonnes (mt) bought the year before, the government plans to purchase 34.15 mt of wheat in the 2023­–24 marketing year, which begins in April.

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