Lack of infra at co-ops, Kendriya Bhandar shows in atta sale

By Jitendra Choubey

Central cooperatives and federations could sell only around 8 per cent of the allotted three lakh tonne (LT) wheat as atta (wheat flour). This has resulted in lower impact on the retail price of atta relative to wheat price as in the past month the retail rates of atta was reduced by around 10 per cent only.

According to the Department of Consumer Affairs, the atta price on February 1 was around Rs 35, which was reduced to Rs 32 by March 2. However, the price of wheat was around Rs 30 per kg, which was reduced to Rs 22 in the Delhi market.

On the other hand, the Food Cooperation of India (FCI) sold over 50 per cent of allocated grain (45 LT) as wheat flour, reducing the market price by over 25 per cent. In January, the government had decided to offload 30 lakh tonne (LT) wheat into the market through its different agencies to address the rising price of wheat and atta. Later, the government said another another 20 LT will be offloaded.

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The government has allocated 45 LT to FCI and 3 LT to cooperative and federation agencies such as the National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation of India Ltd (NAFED), KendriyaBhandar (KB) and National Cooperative Consumers Federation of India Limited (NCCF).

The government had allocated wheat of quantity 1 LT to NAFED, 1.3 LT to Kendriya Bhandar and 68,000 tonnes to NCCF at a concessional rate of Rs 21.50 per kg, which would be converted into atta for selling at a cheap rate of Rs 27.50 Kg. As per official data seen by this reporter, NCCF is only able to sell 10,500 tonne, followed by NAFED (9,500 tonne) and KB (5,600 tonne). 

“Like FCI, these agencies do not have infrastructure on the ground to sell aata,” said a senior NAFED officer. The FCI has a robust system of procurements from designated mandis and distribution through established public distribution shops network.

FCI fares better
The Food Corporation of India has sold over 50 per cent of allocated grain (45 LT) as wheat flour, reducing the market price by over 25 per cent

This article has been republished from The New Indian Express