May 04:India has a comfortable food situation with an overall surplus availability of grains and stocks expected to be higher than the minimum requirement for the next one year, Secretary, Department of Food and Public Distribution (DFPD), Shri Sudhanshu Pandey, said.
Addressing a press conference in New Delhi today, he said that after meeting the requirement of welfare schemes in the year ahead, on April 1, 2023, India would have stocks of 80 LMT of wheat, well above the minimum requirement of 75 LMT. India would have surplus wheat even though production was expected to be 1050 LMT, slightly lower than the initial estimate of 1110 LMT in FY 23.
Responding to a question on lower procurement of wheat, Shri Pandey said that due to higher market prices, a large quantity of wheat was being bought by traders at a higher rate than MSP (Minimum Support Price), which was good for the farmers. “This year due to an increase in market prices and higher demand by the private players both for the domestic as well as export purposes, the purchase by the government agency is less. But that goes in favor of the farmers. Farmers are getting a good price for the wheat,” the Secretary said.
He said that earlier the farmers had no option but to sell to the government. “Now, they are selling only that quantity to the government which they are unable to sell in the private market. Therefore, from that perspective, the government procurement has reduced,” he added.
The Secretary underlined the surplus availability of rice as well. He said, “Our rice procurement last year was about 600 LMT and this year same figure is expected. Our annual requirement for NFSA is roughly about 350 LMT. So, we are in a surplus situation.” He added that from next year, fortified rice will be distributed to the entire Public Distribution System (PDS), and with surplus rice stocks we are in a comfortable situation. “We will be switching over to the distribution of fortified rice next year, and this year we are covering all aspirational and heavy burden districts and ICDS and PM Poshan. Therefore, next year, we will be distributing fortified rice for the entire PDS and so, it is incumbent upon the government to position its stocks in such a way that the next year we procure fortified rice and distribute fortified rice,” Shri Pandey elaborated.
The Secretary talked at length about rice procurement. He said that rice is largely procured under a decentralized procurement scheme, that is, ‘States Procure and States Distribute’, which reduces the logistic cost. “If we were to move stocks only from the centralized places, then this burden further gets added up. So, now with the distribution of rice that this double movement of rakes will be avoided. Locally available stocks of rice will get distributed in the same state where they are getting consumed. So, this will help exporters with their requirement of rakes or movement within the country. It is going to help our exports and all commodities including food grains,” he said.
Shri Pandey also talked about the reallocation order under which 55 LMT additional Rice has been allocated in place of wheat in PMGKY. He said that this was done after extensive consultation will all States/UTs in two steps- firstly, the General Manager of Food Corporation of India (FCI) consulted various State authorities. In the second step, at the Ministry level, the PD (Public Distribution) division responsible for PDS in the country, consulted with States/UTs.
“There was a demand from the States that we are rice-consuming states and we will be more than happy to get more rice allocation. If rice stocks keep lying with states, the reimbursement cycle of food subsidy gets delayed. The moment the state is able to distribute the rice into the PDS system they become entitled to claim their subsidy. This is added advantage to the States otherwise they have to maintain the stocks and bear the expenses and only after distribution they will be able to get reimbursement of their Food subsidy,” Shri Pandey said.
Talking about the wheat exports, Shri Sudhanshu Pandey said that till now 40 LMT of wheat has been contracted for export and about 11 LMT has been exported in April 2022. He informed that after Egypt, Turkey had also given approval for the import of Indian wheat. Shri Pandey said that from June, wheat from Argentina and Australia would start arriving in the international markets, so this was the opportune time for exporters to sell wheat in the international markets.
Shri Pandey also clarified that the edible oil stocks were sufficient in the country and after a temporary ban by Indonesia, the palm oil imports were expected to start soon and this would soften the edible oil prices in the country.
Wheat/Rice (in Central Pool) Balance Sheet (All Quantities in LMT)
|4.||Allocation / Distributionin NFSA / OWS / PMGKY||446||305*||520*|
|5.||Sale under OpenMarket Sale Scheme(OMSS)||70||0 (will depend onfinal procurementfigures)||12|
|6.||Closing stock (3-4-5)||190||80 (Minimumstocking norms on 1st April is 75 LMT)||386 (Minimumstocking norms on 1st April is 136 LMT)|
*55 LMT additional Rice has been allocated in place of wheat in PMGKY.
Wheat – 2022-23
- Due to early summer, production is estimated as 1050 LMT, earlier estimate was 1113 LMT.
- Opening stock in the central pool is 190 LMT
- Expected wheat procurement is 195 LMT – Lower than last year due to
the following reasons:
- In MP, UP, Rajasthan, Gujarat, etc. farmers are selling to traders/exporters at prices (21-24 Rs/kg) better than MSP (20.15 Rs/kg)
- In Punjab, Haryana, UP production is lesser due to early summer and shriveling grain.
- Farmers, and traders are also holding some quantity, expecting the higher price of wheat after some months.
- Wheat export in 2019-20 was 2.17 LMT, 2020-21 was 21.55 LMT, and 2021-22 was 72.15 LMT.
- Due to all efforts of Govt., most the countries including Egypt have given market access to India.
- About 40 LMT of wheat has been contracted for export and about 11 LMT has been exported in April 2022.
- Rice export in 2019-20 was 94.90 LMT, 2020-21 was 177.79 LMT, 2021-22 was 211.87 LMT.
Sugar Balance Sheet
|Production of Sugar||332(after discounting diversion of 3 LMT||274(after discounting diversion of 9 LMT)||310(after discounting diversion of 24 LMT)||355(after discounting diversion of 35 LMT)|
|Exports||38||59||70(Against target of60LMT )||95-100(projected) Without export subsidy|
|Estimated Closing stocks||145||110||85||62-67|
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