Common man upset due to inflation, Food Secretary told increase in prices of wheat, rice is normal

Wheat-Rice Price Increase: On one hand the common man is troubled by inflation. There has been a steady increase in the prices of wheat and rice. But the government believes that the increase in the prices of wheat and rice is normal. The government assured that if there is any unusual increase in the prices of food grains, then it will definitely intervene to control the prices. Food Secretary Sudhanshu Pandey said that the government has sufficient stock of both wheat and rice in its godowns which can be used by the government to intervene in the market.

Sudhanshu Pandey said that the increase in prices is not unusual. Giving the example of wheat, he said the rise in prices was normal as wholesale prices had declined last year when the government sold bulk of the grain to bulk consumers under its Open Market Sales Scheme (OMSS). Pandey said the wholesale price of wheat was Rs 2,331 per quintal on October 14, 2021, as against Rs 2,474 per quintal on the same day in the year 2020. He said that it is not fair to compare the increase in wheat prices in the current year with that of last year. He said that the prices of wheat should be compared with the prices of 2020. Compared to 2020 prices, wholesale wheat prices on October 14 this year increased by 11.42 per cent to Rs 2,757 per quintal. Retail wheat prices increased by 12.01 per cent to Rs 31.06 per kg.

He said the jump in prices is in line with the increase in MSP, cost of fuel, transportation and other expenses. Sudhanshu Pandey said that there is nothing to worry as the government has sufficient stock of both wheat and rice in its godowns. FCI President Ashok KK Meena said that “the stock of wheat with the government was 227 lakh tonnes as of October 1, against the buffer norm of 205 lakh tonnes. Similarly, the stock of rice stood at 205 lakh tonnes against the buffer norm of 103 lakh tonnes during this period.

He said that even after supply of free food grains for Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana, National Food Security Act and other welfare requirements, the estimated stock of wheat and rice by April 1, 2023 would be much higher than the normal buffer norms. He said that the government is keeping an eye on the prices of these essential commodities. At the same time, he has expressed hope that the production of wheat will be normal in the coming Rabi season.

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