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Diwali bumper offer: Modi govt slashes whole wheat flour price, know all about the ‘Bharat Atta’ scheme

This comes four days after the Centre slashed the prices of Bharat Atta from Rs 29.50/kg to Rs 27.50/kg as a festive offer. The price cut comes in the backdrop of the average price of wheat flour rising 4.1 per cent in India this year to Rs 35.84/kg.

Union Minister for Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution Piyush Goyal on 6th November flagged off 100 mobile vans for the sale of ‘Bharat Atta’.

The whole wheat flour will now be available to consumers in physical retail outlets and mobile vans of the National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation of India (NAFED), National Cooperative Consumers’ Federation of India Limited (NCCF), Kendriya Bhandars, and other cooperative outlets at 27.5 per kg.

This comes four days after the Centre slashed the prices of Bharat Atta from Rs 29.50/kg to Rs 27.50/kg as a festive offer. The price cut comes in the backdrop of the average price of wheat flour rising 4.1 per cent in India this year to Rs 35.84/kg.

Piyush Goyal said that around 2.5 lakh tonnes of wheat has been allocated for Bharat Atta. The Centre will be providing the wheat to the above-mentioned entities for Rs 21.50/kg which is the usual offloading price. The margins of the agencies will reportedly be capped at Rs 5/kg grinding to flour and packaging.

Bharat Atta, along with Bharat Dal (Rs 60/kg,) will be available in around 2,000 outlets, the minister announced. “I trust that this scheme will establish a balance between our farmers and consumers, will keep inflation in control and will increase people’s trust in Modi hai toh mumkin hai,” Piyush Goyal said.

The flour will reportedly be available in packs of 10 kg and 30 kg. Moreover, onions, which have burnt a hole in the public’s pocket, will also be sold at a subsidised price of Rs 25/kg at the said outlets along with some lentils for Rs 60/kg.

A government official reportedly said that the initiative is one of many by the government to keep prices in check. “This is being done to send a signal to the market that if the trade does not behave in the right manner, the government is here to intervene and use its tools,” the official was quoted as saying by Mint.

Union Minister Ashwini Kumar Choubey, while flagging off 100 mobile vans for the sale of Bharat Atta, said that it is a gift from PM Modi to help the poor people.

Subsidy on flour was launched in February this year

In February, the Secretary of the Department of Food and Public Distribution of the central government, Sanjeev Chopra, reviewed the progress of the Open Market Sale Scheme (OMSS).

He particularly reviewed the progress of supply of Atta (wheat flour) at Rs. 29.50 per kg through various outlets in the country for sale to consumers with a view to check inflationary trends in the food economy, said an official statement.

It was decided that FCI, NAFED and NCCF would get wheat up to 3 LMT from FCI Depots, and after converting it into Atta, they would sell it to Consumers at Rs 29.50 per kg through various retail outlets and mobile Van etc.

While Kendriya Bhandar had already started the sale of Bharat Atta in February, NCCF and NAFED began the supply a few days later.

Earlier, on January 25, the Committee of Ministers under the chairmanship of Home Minister Amit Shah reviewed the prices of essential commodities and decided to release 30 LMT wheat from FCI stock through OMSS.

It was decided that 25 LMT be offered through the e-auction route to traders, flour mills etc as per the usual process followed by FCI. Ever since, at least 11 e-auctions have been conducted by Center for the sale of wheat and rice to various buyers across the country.

The e-auctions were organised on a weekly basis by the government in order to combat inflation and ensure the availability of rice, wheat and atta to the general public at reasonable prices.

(With input from agencies)

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