The government will sell Bharati rice at ₹ 29/kg at retail outlets from next week.

The Center on Friday decided to sell Bharat brand rice at ₹ 29/kg from next week directly to consumers in 5 and 10 kg packs through cooperatives Nafed, NCCF and Kendriya Bhandar. This comes after a request by rice millers to reduce prices did not yield the desired results. It has introduced the Essential Commodities Act, which requires traders to declare rice/rice zonal supplies on a designated portal every Friday from February 9. Based on the information gathered about the situation of rice supplies, according to the sources, a decision will be made whether to set a stock limit similar to wheat. The government has announced that if domestic prices do not come down, the export of semi-milled rice may be completely banned.

Compared to a year ago, rice prices rose by 14.5 percent in the retail market and 15.5 percent in the wholesale market, according to government data.

‘All options are open’

Union Food Secretary Sanjeev Chopra informed the media after the decision that “all options are open” to lower prices when asked if imposing a rice stock limit was the next step. . Chopra emphasized that the prices of all essential food items are under control, except for rice.

Citing market speculation that exports of cooked rice may be completely banned, he said there was no such plan and its exports had declined by six percent in the period April-January 2022-23 to January 24 in the current fiscal.

The government has allocated 5,000 tons of rice to cooperatives for sale in the retail market in the first phase, and more rice will be released as demand increases. E-commerce platforms are also coming up to sell Bharati rice.

Chopra said that since the rice held by the Food Corporation of India (FCI) contains more broken grains than the varieties available in the open market, the government has asked the cooperatives to reduce the proportion of broken rice to less than 5 percent. packaging Under ‘Bharat Rice’. It will also help increase market availability of broken rice suitable for ethanol production.

Export restrictions on stay in the country

In an official order issued by the Ministry of Food and Distribution on February 2, the government directed “processors/millers, traders/grocers, retailers and large chain traders in all states and union territories declare their rice/husk in various categories – broken rice, non-basmati white rice, parcolated rice, basmati rice and paddy rice on the portal (https://evegoils.nic.in/rice/login.html) for seven days and every friday.

Since some traders were confused about the categories, the government is likely to post a clarification on the portal. According to sources, it is not necessary to mention more than once, even if there is one type that belongs to two categories. For example, exporters who have steamed basmati rice will have to mention the stock only in the basmati category and not in the steamed rice category, sources said.

Stressing that there are no plans to limit rice exports, he said the stock notification will ensure that entities holding stocks for reasons best known to them will receive such a signal and release stocks to the market. which should cool prices.

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