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

The government has ruled out taking any steps to control wheat prices as it closely monitors the price movement of the commodity. Secretary Food Department Sanjeev Chopra said that the rise in foodgrain price coincided with the rise in minimum support price (MSP) and overall inflationary trends.

“Rice prices are just stable. “Since the wheat ban was imposed in May, wheat prices have increased by 7 percent at retail, and if we take into account the increase in the minimum support price (MSP), the price increase is 4-5 percent.”

Chopra said that no decision has been taken yet to reduce prices under the Open Market Sake Scheme (OMSS) of wheat, adding that stocks of wheat and rice are comfortable and above buffer norms.

The government will have 113 LMT of wheat on April 1, 2023 against the required buffer stock of 75 LMT. Projected stock position of paddy as on April 1, 2023 is 237 LMT against the buffer norm of 137 LMT. The government bought 277.37 LMT of paddy as of November 21 this year compared to 263.42 MT in the same period last year. However, its wheat supply fell to 187.92 lakh tonnes from 434.44 lakh tonnes in the 2022-23 marketing year due to lower domestic production and aggressive buying by private parties.

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

In May, the government banned wheat exports to boost domestic supplies and keep prices under control. It also banned the export of broken rice in September.