Bharat Atta, now selling at Rs 27.50 per kg from 800 mobile vans across India
Mobile vans and outlets of three agencies will sell three commodities — wheat flour at Rs 27.50 per kg, chana dal at Rs 60 per kg and onion at Rs 25 per kg
Ahead of Diwali, the Centre on Monday, 6 November formally launched the sale of atta (wheat flour) at a subsidised rate of Rs 27.50 per kg under the brand name 'Bharat Atta' across the country, to provide relief to consumers from high prices.
Bharat Atta will be sold through cooperatives NAFED, NCCF and Kendriya Bhandar via 800 mobile vans and 2,000-odd outlets spread across the country.
The subsidised rate is lower than the prevailing market rate of Rs 36-70 per kg of flour, depending on quality and location.
In February, the government had carried out a pilot sale of 18,000 tonne of Bharat Atta at Rs 29.50 per kg through these cooperatives in a few outlets as part of the Price Stabalisation Fund scheme.
Flagging off 100 mobile vans of Bharat Atta on Delhi's Kartavya Path, Union food and consumer affairs minister Piyush Goyal said, "Now that we have tested and been successful, we decided to do a formal launch so that everyone in the country can buy atta at Rs 27.50 per kg."
The sale of wheat flour during the test run was controlled as it was retailed only through a few outlets. However, there will be a better pick up this time as the product will be sold via 800 mobile vans and 2,000 outlets of these three agencies across the country, he said.
Goyal said about 2.5 lakh tonne of wheat will be allocated from the Food Corporation of India (FCI) at Rs 21.50 per kg to NAFED, NCCF and Kendriya Bhandar. They will convert it into wheat flour and sell at Rs 27.50 per kg under the brand Bharat Atta. This will help boost availability and check prices of wheat flour, he added.
The minister further said the government's intervention of selling a few essential commodities — chana dal, tomato and onion — at a subsidised rate is yielding good results in controlling price rise.
Consumer affairs secretary Rohit Kumar said out of a total of 2.5 lakh tonne of wheat, about 1 lakh tonne each will be offered to Nafed and NCCF, while 50,000 tonne will go to Kendriya Bhandar.
The mobile vans and outlets of these three agencies will sell three commodities — wheat flour at Rs 27.50 per kg, chana dal at Rs 60 per kg and onion at Rs 25 per kg, he said.
Ministers of state for food and consumer affairs Ashwini Kumar Choubey and Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti, food secretary Sanjeev Chopra, and senior officials of NAFED, NCCF and Kendriya Bhandar were present at the event.