India currently has more than the required quantity of wheat in stocks to sustain for a year, informed Sudhanshu Pandey, Secretary, Department of Food and Public Distribution (DFPD).
"After meeting the requirement of welfare schemes in the year ahead, on April 1, 2023, India would have stocks of 80 LMT of wheat, well above the minimum requirement of 75 LMT. India would have surplus wheat even though production was expected to 1050 LMT, slightly lower than the initial estimate of 1110 LMT in Financial Year 2023," Pandey said.
While briefing the reporters on Thursday in the national capital, DFPD Secretary, said that no move has been taken by the central government to curb wheat export.
"Till now 40 LMT wheat has been contracted for export and about 11 LMT has been exported in April 2022. Egypt, and Turkey had also given approval for the import of Indian wheat. From June, wheat from Argentina and Australia would start arriving in the international markets, so this was the opportune time for exporters to sell wheat in the international markets," he said.
He further clarified that edible oil stocks are also sufficient in the country and after a temporary ban by Indonesia, the palm oil imports are expected to start again soon.
"This would soften the edible oil prices in the country," he added.
Responding to a question on procurement of wheat, Pandey said that due to higher market prices, a large quantity of wheat was being bought by traders at a higher rate than MSP (Minimum Support Price), which was good for the farmers.
"This year due to an increase in market prices and higher demand by the private players both for the domestic as well as export purposes, the purchase by the government agency is less. But that goes in favour of the farmers. Farmers are getting a good price for the wheat," the Secretary said.
He said that earlier the farmers had no option but to sell to the government but "now they are selling only that quantity to the government which they are unable to sell in the private market. Therefore, from that perspective, the government procurement has reduced," he added. (ANI)