4Oct ;The following is update on actions taken by the Government to maintain adequate availability of foodgrains, edible oils and sugar and to check price rise in these commodities.
Increase in Rice stock: The rice procurement in KMS 2007-08, as on 1.10.2008 was 284.45 lakh tonnes as against the overall procurement of 251.07 lakh tonnes in KMS 2006-2007, representing an increase of 13.29% over the previous year.
Comfortable stock of foodgrains: It is estimated that the stock of wheat as on 1-4-2009 will be 60.04 lakh tonnes compared to the buffer norms of 40.00 lakh tonnes. Similarly it is estimated that the rice stock will be 64.52 lakh tonnes as on 1-10-2008, against the buffer norm of 52.00 lakh tonnes.
Position of Rice Export
During 2007-2008, the domestic price of rice started showing upward trend. With a view to contain the rise in price of rice in the domestic market and increase availability of rice in the country, export of non-basmati rice has been banned w.e.f. 1st April 2008. Further, a minimum export price has been fixed for export of basmati rice. Presently, MEP of basmati rice is US $1200 per tonne or Rs.48,000 per tonne w.e.f. 1.4.2008. In addition, a customs duty of Rs.8,000 per tonne has been imposed on export of basmati rice vide Notification dated 10.5.2008. Thus, as against 2.75 Million tonne and 0.49 Million tonne of Non-Basmati and basmati rices, respectively, exported in 2007-08 (April- Sept., 2007), only 0.65 Million tonne and 0.50 Million tonne were exported in the corresponding period in 2008-09 (upto 28.9.2008).
Availability of sugar in festival months:
Government has released 12 lakh tonnes of non-levy sugar quota for the month of September 2008. In addition, it is expected` that 4-5 lakh tonnes of non-levy sugar would be sold by sugar factories out of the dismantled first buffer stock of 20 lakh tonnes as well as at least 4.5 lakh tonnes of non-levy sugar from dismantled second buffer stock of 30 lakh tonnes. Thus, the total availability of non-levy sugar in the month of September 2008 is expected to be about 20-21 lakh tonnes, which would be sufficient to meet the demand for sugar in the ensuing festival season. The Government has already released 2.08 lakh tonnes of levy sugar for distribution in the Public Distribution System for the month of September 2008. The Government has also made advance allocation of 2.27 lakh tonnes of levy sugar for the month of October 2008. The above releases include festival quota of 57000 MTs.
The Government has also decided that any unsold/undespatched stocks out of dismantled first and second buffer stock and unsold/undespatched normal monthly quota which are required to be sold/dispatched by 30th September, 2008 would be converted into levy sugar, besides invoking penal action under the Essential Commodities Act, 1955. In this regard, an order dated 8th September 2008 has also been issued.
During the week under review, ex-mill prices have declined by Rs.10 to Rs.40 per quintal in Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu & Karnataka over the week ending 19th September 2008. However, in Uttar Pradesh, Gujrat and Maharashtra, the ex-mill prices increased by Rs.10 to Rs.40 per quintal during the period.
Indian Sugar Mills Association (ISMA) and National Federation of Cooperative Sugar Factories Ltd., apex organisations of the sugar industry requested for extension of validity period of normal quota of September, 2008 and dismantled buffer stocks for a period of 30 days beyond 30th September 2008. This Department considered their request and it has been decided to extend the validity period of normal monthly quota of September, 2008 only for a period of 15 days i.e. upto 15th October 2008. No extension has been allowed for sale/despatch of dismantled buffer stocks.
Edible oil stock augmentation: Under the scheme for distribution of subsidized edible oils, out of 10 lakh tonnes of subsidised edible oils to be distributed during 2008-2009 through State Governments, so far, orders have been placed for 3.18 lakh tonnes of edible oils. Of this, 2.34 lakh tonnes of edible oil has been shipped. Till 29.09.2008, 2.33 lakh tonnes of edible oil has already landed in the country and about 1.26 lakh tonnes have so far been distributed to various States by Central PSUs.
Distribution of subsidized imported edible oils have already started in 12 States/Uts namely Andhra Pradesh, Chhatisgarh, Gujrat, Himachal Pradesh, Maharashtra, Orissa, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, Karnatka, Sikkim, Nagaland and Rajasthan.
Distribution of subsidized imported edible oils is likely to commence shortly in Delhi, Uttar Pradesh & Pondicherry.
Edible oil has been contracted by PSUs for distribution upto November/December, 2008.
Decrease in wholesale prices of edible oils: Due to various measures taken by the Government, good kharif crop of oilseeds expected and fall in international prices of edible oils, the wholesale prices of soyabean oil, groundnut oil and RBD Palmolein have declined by 6.54%, 6.47% and 9.39% respectively since last month (from 30.08.2008 to 30.09.2008).
Decrease in the international prices of edible oils: The international prices of major edible oils, namely, crude palm oil and soyabean oil have declined by 17.95% and 11.35% respectively in the last one month (from 30.08.2008 to 30.09.2008).