Haryana State Cooperative Supply and Marketing Federation (HAFED) has invited bids for sale of 67,363.62 tonnes wheat, procured by it commercially from Haryana and Madhya Pradesh in last harvesting season (April-June). This time it will be sold through online platforms.
In a notice on its website, HAFED has said online bidding/e-auction will be conducted through platform of NCDEX e Markets (‘NeML’), Star Agribazaar Technology (Agribazaar) and E- Tech Innovative Service Private Limited.
Of the total quantity to be sold, 26,968.56 tonnes are available at different locations in Fatehabad district of Haryana while remaining 40,395.06 tonnes will be sold in Madhya Pradesh where the stocks are kept in Ujjain, Indore, Dewas, Vidisha, Ganjbasoda, Sehore and Bhopal.
“Bids received for less than the specified minimum quantity (200 tonnes) or actual quantity, whichever is less, for a particular lot and location shall not be considered,” it said adding the base price or reserve price for each lot will be declared at time of e-auction.
This is the seventh attempt of HAFED to sell those wheat as in earlier six occasions since August, it has not been able to sell the entire quantity of over 4 lakh tonnes for which bids were invited.
Decision on OMSS
The Centre will soon take a decision on open market sale scheme (OMSS) of wheat during January-March after the Cabinet last week decided to discontinue the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana (PMGKAY) for the fourth quarter in current fiscal and allowed the 81 crore beneficiaries under the National Food Security Act to get the ration free of costs until December 2023.
The main issue will be the price at which the wheat will be sold by FCI as in the recent HAFED tender wheat was sold at ₹2,443.55/quintal, said a flour miller. The Centre’s economic cost of wheat for 2022-23 is estimated at ₹2,588.70. “If price control is the objective, there has to be uniform selling price across the country and millers be asked to lift from designated depots,” said the flour miller.
The retail inflation in cereals (rice and wheat) during November was at 12.96 per cent, second highest after spices among food basket. Consumer affairs ministry data show all-India average retail prices of wheat surged by 13.4 per cent and atta by 18 per cent so far, since January this year.
In February this year, the Centre had announced the OMSS wheat policy under which reserve prices were fixed – ₹2,200/quintal upto September 30 and ₹2,225 during October-December. However, after wheat procurement dipped to a 15-year low of 187.9 lt in 2022-23 rabi marketing season (April-March), the government suspended OMSS.
Ahead of festival season and Assembly elections, the Centre in September had announced continuation of PMGKAY for three months during October-December entailing an expenditure of ₹44,762 crore with free distribution of an estimated 119.62 lakh tonne (lt) of foodgrains (21.01 lt wheat and 98.61 lt rice).