4 Sep : 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 3.9.2008 was 271.43 lakh tonnes as against the overall procurement of 251.07 lakh tonnes in KMS 2006-2007, representing an increase of 8.10% over the previous year. In August 2008, 7.69 lakh tonnes of rice has been procured in KMS 2007-08, as compared to 1.06 lakh tonnes of rice procured in August 2007.
Comfortable stock of foodgrains: It is estimated that the stock of wheat as on 1-4-2009 will be higher at 78.60 lakh tonnes compared to the buffer norms of 40.00 lakh tonnes. Similarly it is estimated that the rice stock will be 62.43 lakh tonnes as on 1-10-2008, against the buffer norm of 52.00 lakh tonnes.
Ad-hoc APL Wheat allocations : With a view to keep prices of foodgrains in the open market under check and also to meet the rising demand during ensuing festivals the Government has made an ad-hoc allocation of about 96,500 tonnes of wheat under APL category for the months of July 2008 to September 2008 to various States. Further, adhoc/additional 63000 tonnes of wheat at APL rate have also been released for September, 2008 to the States. Adhoc/additional allocations of 36000 tonnes of rice and 167000 tonnes of wheat at APL rate have been issued for festival season 2008 to various States. Considering the hardship of TPDS beneficiaries of J&K
Decrease in ex-mill prices of Sugar: After release of additional quota of 2 lakh tonnes for August, 2008 and announcement of additional quota of 3 lakh tonnes for September 2008 the rise in sugar prices have been checked and sugar prices have declined in the range of Rs.40 to Rs.100 per quintal as on 29.08.2008 over ex-mill prices for the week ending 22.08.2008.
Availability of sugar in festival month(s):
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 lac 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.
Edible oil stock augmentation for PDS Distribution: 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 3.02 lakh tonnes of edible oils. Of this, 2.12 lakh tonnes of edible oil has been shipped. Till 02.09.2008, 2.05 lakh tonnes of edible oil has already landed in the country and about 87,378 tonnes have so far been distributed to various States by Central PSUs.
Decrease in wholesale prices of edible oils: Due to proactive measures of the Government the wholesale prices of soyabean oil, mustard oil and RBD Palmolein have declined by 6.14%, 4.69% and 5.33% respectively since last month (from 02.08.2008 to 02.09.2008).
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 17.46% and 8.40% respectively since last one month (from 02.08.2008 to 02.09.2008).
Earlier it was reported in some newspapers that importers have refused to honour contracts with exporters of edible oils when prices crashed in the international market. Now it is reported that Indian importers of edible oils from the international market are settling with exporters who had sold them the oil before the international prices came down. It is expected that edible oil prices may come down further in the coming weeks because of fall in the prices of edible oils in the international market.