Following the sharp decline in wheat procurement in this session, which resulted in depletion of stocks, the government reduced the allocation of wheat to 13 states for implementation of National Food Security Act (NFSA) in June 2022 till March 2023. As per the revised guidelines, the amount of rice has been increased under the allotted NFSA.
In a communication to the Ministry of Food on Friday, it was said that the allocation of rice and wheat for ‘managing foodgrain stocks as per standards’ has been revised.
Wheat allocation under NFSA for Bihar, Jharkhand, Orissa, West Bengal, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Uttarakhand and Kerala has been reduced by only 85,320 tonnes in June 2022 and March 2023 from previous rules. 0.21 million tons (MT). Rice allocation under NFSA in these states has been increased from 1.9 metric tons to 2.04 metric tons.
The government’s wheat procurement this year could be less than half that of last year, as the market price is above the Minimum Support Price (MSP) set by the government. Food Corporation of India (FCI) and other government agencies procured grain in MSP on Friday stood at around 18 metric tonnes, down 49% from a year earlier.
Earlier this month, the government revised the grain allocation under the Prime Minister’s Poor Welfare Anna Yojana (PMGKAY) from May to September 2022.
According to the revised guidelines, within the remaining five months of the sixth phase of PMGKAY, FCI has allocated 3.5 metric tons of wheat to the states. FCI will supply 9 metric tons of grain as per previous communication.
In May-September this year, the allocation of 10.8 metric tons of rice was revised to 16 metric tons against the previous rule.
Launched in 2020 as part of the Covid-19 relief system, 5 kg of grain is provided free of cost per month under the PMGKAY project, and more than 81 beneficiaries are provided with high-subsidized food grains under the National Food Security Act.
According to the Food Ministry in the states, it has been decided to revise the allocation between May-September 2022 to alleviate the shortage and ensure adequate stock availability as per stocking rules. The move to allocate more rice than wheat came to the FCI on May 1 after wheat stocks fell to a five-year low of 31 metric tonnes on May 1.
Sources told FE that due to low stocks, the government has reduced the supply of wheat under the project along with rice, which is sufficient. As of May 1, FCI has 33.15 metric tons of rice and another 20 metric tons of rice is available from millers. At the beginning of April it was against the 13.58 metric ton buffer norm.