Low level of stocks lead to rise in wheat prices
New Delhi, Mar 3 (UNI) Wheat prices in the southern states especially Kerala and Karnataka have risen in the last three months mainly due to lower level of stocks in the central pool.
Minister of state for Agriculture Taslimuddin in a written reply to the Rajya Sabha said retail prices of wheat increased between 50 paise and Rs three per kg during the past three months.
The steps taken to check the increase in prices include increased allocation of wheat under the Open Market Scheme, freeze on central issue prices under the Targetted Public Distribution System (TDPS) to encourage more offtake, decision to import wheat for augmenting the availability in the southern zone, ensuring adequate availability of wheat stocks for the TDPs and Welfare Schemes in all states and monitoring of retail and wholesale prices of wheat.
The Minister said a number of new schemes have been formulated and approved for implementation in the Tenth Plan for enhancement of agricultural production and productivity in the country, involving an expenditure of Rs 29675.55 crore in 2005-06, the Minister added.
Meanwhile the highest ever foodgrains production of 213.6 million tonnes was recorded in - 2003-04. It, however, declined to 204.61 million tonnes in 2004-05 due to draught and floods in parts of the country.
The government is implementing an Integrated Cereals Development Programme under Macro Management Scheme in different states of the country to increase the production of cereals.
The Minister said the allocation for agriculture has ranged from 2.25 per cent in 2002-03 to 2.84 per cent in 2005-06 of the central plan outlay.
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