Govt plans to sell FCI rice under 'Bharat' brand; price not yet decided

The latest initiative to counter inflation comes on the heels of the government's open market strategy receiving a lukewarm response; expected be similar to 'Bharat' brand of wheat flour and pulses

While the FCI currently offers quality rice at a reserve price of Rs 29 per kg under OMSS, the discounted rate for 'Bharat rice' is yet to be determined. (Photo: IANS)
While the FCI currently offers quality rice at a reserve price of Rs 29 per kg under OMSS, the discounted rate for 'Bharat rice' is yet to be determined. (Photo: IANS)
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PTI

In order to check rice inflation, the government is considering a proposal to sell FCI rice under the 'Bharat' brand but the discounted rate has not yet been decided, a food ministry official said on Wednesday, 27 December.

The ministry's efforts to check retail rice prices by boosting domestic availability through sale of FCI rice via e-auction under the Open Market Sale Scheme (OMSS) has received a lukewarm response.

"There is a proposal to retail 'Bharat rice' but the price has not yet been decided," the official told PTI.

Under the OMSS, the Food Corporation of India (FCI) is offering quality rice at a reserve price of Rs 29 per kg. "Whether to sell Bharat rice at the same rate or reduced rate, the decision has to be taken by the Group of Ministers," the official added.

The government is already selling wheat flour (atta) and pulses under the Bharat brand through outlets managed by the National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation of India (NAFED), National Cooperative Consumers' Federation (NCCF) and Kendriya Bhandar.

FCI has been able to sell only 3.04 lakh tonnes of rice under OMSS so far this year. In case of wheat, the nodal agency has sold 82.89 lakh tonnes wheat under OMSS, as per the official data.

Rice inflation is at 13 per cent year-on-year and the government is concerned about key food prices ahead of 2024 general elections.

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