Food Corporation likely to sell rice, wheat in open market

August 20th, 2008 - 10:10 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Aug 20 (IANS) The government may allow the state-run Food Corporation of India (FCI) to sell wheat and rice under the open market sale scheme (OMSS).The cabinet committee on economic affairs (CCEA), which is scheduled to meet Thursday, is likely to discuss the sale. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will chair the meeting.

If approved, the FCI under the OMSS will make wheat and rice available in the domestic market at the prices lower than in the market but higher than those quoted at public distribution outlets.

“The ministry of consumer affairs, food and public distribution has sought the government’s nod to allow FCI to sale wheat and rice under the OMSS,” said a senior government official, who did not wish to be identified.

“It is an important item to be discussed at the CCEA meeting Thursday,” the official told IANS.

The meeting is also likely to make the use of jute mandatory in packaging in the current fiscal, which would be observed as the “Jute Year.”

“The idea is to promote jute industry in the country, which will help jute growers as well,” said the official.

The government has the target to achieve production of 129 million tonnes of rice by 2011-12 with the growth rate of 3.7 percent, along with other food grain.

India’s food grain production was estimated at 230.67 million tonnes in 2007-08.

As per the fourth Advance Estimates of Crop Production for 2007-08, there is an absolute increase of 13.39 million tonnes in food production at 230.67 million tonnes, as compared to 217.28 million tonnes in 2006-07.

The production of rice stood at 96.43 million tonnes, wheat 78.4 million tonnes, coarse cereals 40.73 million tonnes, maize 19.31 million tonnes, pulses 15.11 million tonnes, and oilseeds 28.82 million tonnes.

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