Govt may consider reducing import duty on wheat to curb rising prices, says FCI Chairman


New Delhi, June 23 (IANS) Concerned about rising prices of wheat, the government on Friday indicated that it may even consider reducing import duty on the commodity to scale down prices.

Food Corporation of India (FCI) Chairman Ashok Meena told media persons that to bring down wheat prices, there are several options available and if need arises, then import duty on wheat may also be reduced.

There is 40 per cent import duty on wheat currently.

Meena further said that as part of market intervention to control wheat prices, FCI will conduct e-auction of wheat and also rice.

Around 4 lakh metric tonnes of wheat will be offered under e-auction from 457 depots, he informed, adding that the tender for this would be issued by midnight on Friday.

The FCI has kept the reserve price for wheat at Rs 2,150 per quintal.

One bidder can bid only for 100 metric tonnes of wheat and also only local buyers can participate in the e-auction to ensure that GST registration of the state is mapped and checked before stocks are released, Meena added.

These measures are being taken by the government because even after imposing stock limit on wheat to control its price rise earlier this month, there has been a percentage increase in its prices in the last 10 days.

Government had imposed stock limit on wheat on June 12, however its efforts don’t seem to have borne much fruit.

On June 7, wheat was being sold at Rs 2,302 per quintal, however after stock limit was imposed on June 12, its prices had come down by 2 per cent.

On June 14, wheat was being sold at Rs 2,268 per quintal, but on June 22, it’s price rose sharply to Rs 2,340 per quintal.

Experts say that owing to El Nino and poor monsoon conditions, wheat prices are expected to rise further.


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