Govt releases add, 36,000 tonnes rice, 192,000 tonnes wheat

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New Delhi, Sep 19 (UNI) Anticipating rising demand during the festive season and to keep a check on prices, the Government has released 12 lakh tonnes of non-levy sugar quota for September, taking its total availability to about 20-21 lakh tonnes, deemed sufficient to meet the demand for sugar.

About four-five lakh tonnes of non-levy sugar is to be sold by sugar factories of the dismantled first buffer stock of 20 lakh tonnes as well as at least 4.5 lakh tonnes of non-levy sugar from dismantled second buffer stock of 30 lakh tonnes. This is part of the steps taken by the Government to maintain adequate availability of foodgrains, edible oils and sugar, a release issued by the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution said.

The Centre has already released 2.08 lakh tonnes of levy sugar through the public distribution system for September. An advance allocation of 2.27 lakh tonnes of levy sugar for October 2008 has also been made including the festival quota of 57000 MTs.

Besides, additional stocks of 36,000 tonnes of rice and 1,92,000 tonnes of wheat have been released at the APL level to various states.

Earlier, with a view to keep the prices of foodgrains in the open market under check, the Government had made ad-hoc allocation of about 96,500 tonnes of wheat under the APL category for July to September 2008 in addition to 63,000 tonnes of wheat at APL rate for September.

Meanwhile, the rice procurement in kharif marketing season (KMS), as on September 15 stood at 276.08 lakh tonnes against the overall procurement of 251.07 lakh tonnes in KMS 2006-07, registering an almost 10 per cent rise, the release said.

As on April one, 2009, wheat stock was estimated at 60.04 lakh tonnes compared to the buffer norms of 40 lakh tonnes and rice stock at 64.52 lakh tonnes as on October one against the buffer norm of 52 lakh tonnes.

Considering the hardship of TPDS beneficiaries of Jammu and Kashmir during prevailing disturbed situation of law and order in the state, special allocation of 20,000 tonnes of rice at APL rate has been issued to the state.

Following release of additional quota of two lakh tonnes for August 2008 and announcement of additional quota of three lakh tonnes for September 2008, sugar prices have declined between Rs 40 and Rs 100 a quintal till August-end over ex-mill prices for the week ending August 22.

The Government has decided that unsold or undespatched stocks of the dismantled first and second buffer stock and normal monthly quota of the same type, which are required to be sold or dispatched by September-end, be converted into levy sugar, besides invoking penal action under the Essential Commodities Act, 1955, through an order dated September eight.

Following these measures, ex-mill prices declined by Rs 10 to Rs 115 a quintal over the week ending September five. The ex-mill prices of non-levy sugar continued to decline in major sugar producing states. In Uttar Pradesh, one of the major sugar producing states, the ex-mill prices were in the range of Rs 1700-Rs 1730 a quintal during September six to 12 compared to Rs 1730-Rs 1780 a quintal in August 30 to September five, a decline in the ex-mill prices of Rs 30 to Rs 50 per quintal.

In Maharashtra, the ex-mill prices, which were in the range of Rs 1560-Rs 1690 a quintal in the week ending September five, declined by Rs 60 to Rs 115 a quintal to Rs 1500-Rs 1575 a quintal over last week's ex-mill prices.

Under the scheme for distribution of subsidised edible oils, orders have been placed for 3.12 lakh tonnes of 10 lakh tonnes of subsidised edible oils to be distributed during 2008-2009 through state governments, so far. Of this, 2.28 lakh tonnes of edible oil has been shipped. Till September 15, 2.21 lakh tonnes of edible oil has already landed in the country and about 1.04 lakh tonnes so far been distributed to various states by Central PSUs. Distribution of subsidised imported edible oils have already started in Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Himachal Pradesh, Maharashtra, Orissa, Tamil Nadu and West Bengal. It will soon commence in Delhi, Rajasthan, Karnatka, Uttar Pradesh and Puducherry.

UNI SD GL BD1910

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