Updated December 28th, 2023 at 18:02 IST
Government mulls upon selling FCI rice under Bharat brand
Government has already launched the 'Bharat' brand for essential commodities like wheat flour (atta) and pulses, available at various outlets.
The government is contemplating the introduction of rice under the 'Bharat' brand as a measure to stabilise rising rice prices and mitigate inflationary pressures. A senior official from the Ministry of Food disclosed that while the initiative is under consideration, the pricing strategy for this proposed 'Bharat rice' remains undetermined.
Efforts by the Ministry to regulate retail rice prices through the Open Market Sale Scheme (OMSS) have not yielded the desired outcomes, prompting this exploratory move. Currently, the Food Corporation of India (FCI) offers rice through OMSS at a base price of Rs 29 per kilogram. The official clarified that any decision regarding the pricing of 'Bharat rice' would necessitate approval from the Group of Ministers, who will deliberate on retaining the existing rate or adjusting it.
In a broader context, the government has already launched the 'Bharat' brand for essential commodities like wheat flour (atta) and pulses, available at various outlets managed by entities such as the National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation of India (NAFED), National Cooperative Consumers' Federation (NCCF), and Kendriya Bhandar. Despite these efforts, FCI's rice sales under the OMSS have been relatively subdued this year, amounting to 3.04 lakh tonnes. In contrast, FCI has successfully distributed 82.89 lakh tonnes of wheat under the same scheme, as per official statistics.
The urgency to address escalating food prices, particularly the 13 per cent year-on-year inflation in rice, underscores the government's proactive stance, especially with an eye on the upcoming 2024 general elections.
(With PTI inputs)
Published December 28th, 2023 at 09:04 IST