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

The government has ruled out any action to control wheat prices as it keeps a close watch on the price movement of the commodity. The price rise of the food grain is in tandem with the increase in the minimum support price (MSP) and general inflationary trends, said Sanjeev Chopra, secretary, the Department of Food.

“Rice prices are just flat. Wheat prices have gone up by 7 percent in retail after the imposition of wheat ban in May and if we take into account the increase in minimum support price (MSP), the price rise is 4-5 per cent,” he said.

Chopra said that no decision has been taken yet on Open Market Sake Scheme (OMSS) of wheat to cool down the prices adding that the stock position of wheat and rice are comfortable and more than the buffer norms.

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

On edible oil, Chopra said the retail prices of cooking oils are on a downward trend and rates are likely to reduce further.

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