The Center has launched ‘Bharat Atta’ which can be purchased by consumers at ₹27.50 per kg.

The Centre on Monday launched the pan-India sale of wheat flour (atta) to be sold at ₹275 per bag (10 kg) under the “Bharat Atta” brand amid rising prices of flour. The decision comes after it sold over 3 million tonnes (mt) of wheat to processing units since June to provide relief to consumers from the high prices of atta. Bharat Atta will be sold by cooperatives NAFED, NCCF, and Kendriya Bhandar through their 2,000-odd outlets spread across the country and 800 mobile vans, the Food Ministry said in a statement. Currently, atta across the country is available between ₹30/kg (in Punjab) and ₹54/kg (in Tamil Nadu), according to Consumer Affairs Ministry data. In February 2023 when prices soared to a peak, the government had done a pilot sale of 18,000 tonnes of “Bharat Atta” at ₹29.50 per kg through these cooperatives in a few outlets. The government on Monday said up to 2.5 mt of wheat from the buffer stock could be released in the open market, if needed, over and above 10.15 mt earmarked under the open market sale scheme (OMSS) until March 31, 2024, including 3 mt already sold to processors through weekly auction since June.

Fiat to cooperatives

After flagging off 100 mobile vans in Delhi, Union Food and Consumer Affairs Minister Piyush Goyal said, “Now that we have tested and been successful, we decided to do a formal launch so that consumers everywhere in the country can get at ₹27.50 per kg.” He hoped that there would be a better offtake this time as the product would be available in more outlets. The minister said about 0.25 mt of wheat has been allocated from the Food Corporation of India (FCI) at ₹2,150/quintal to NAFED, NCCF, and Kendriya Bhandar with a direction to process it to wheat flour and sell at ₹27.50 per kg under the brand Bharat Atta. Consumer Affairs Secretary Rohit Kumar Singh said 0.1 mt, each would be offered to NAFED and NCCF, and the remaining 0.05 mt to Kendriya Bhandar. Highlighting that the government’s intervention of selling chana dal, tomato, and onion at subsidized rates in recent times is yielding good results in controlling the price rise, Goyal said the atta intervention would help boost availability and check price rise.

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