Centre postpones decision on Food Security Bill

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New Delhi, June 11 (ANI): Union Government has postponed taking a decision on Food Security Bill due to the absence of Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar at the meeting of Empowered Group of Ministers (EGoM) on Food.

Addressing media after the meeting, Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee said the ban on rice exports for Maldives has been removed and the EGoM decided to extend open market operations for sale of wheat by another three months till September 30. The decision to export rice to Maldives was entirely on diplomatic grounds.

Mukherjee said a decision on the Food Security Bill would be taken immediately after Pawar returns to work.

Talking to reporters, Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia, said food inflation rate at 16.74 percentis still quite high.

Igovet is expected to come down by the end of the year due to the various government schemes.

Under the open market sales scheme, the government sells wheat and rice to bulk consumers and provides food grains to states for distribution in the retail market below the procurement cost.

So far, the government has allocated 30 lakh tonnes under the scheme.

India's wholesale price inflation, an annual 9.6 percent in April, has remained over 8 percent for five months as food prices soared after last year's drought. (ANI)

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