Export ban on wheat, products must continue: Roller Flour Millers’ Federation

Roller Flour Millers’ Federation of India, the apex association of Roller Flour Millers on Thursday said that the export ban on wheat and wheat products including Atta (Wheat Flour), Maida (Fine Wheat Flour) and Suji (Semolina) should continue during the upcoming financial year 2023-24.

Addressing a press briefing, the Federation pointed out that due to Open Market Sales Scheme (Domestic), which was announced on January 26, 2023 has resulted in reduction in prices of wheat and wheat products by ₹600-800 per quintal pan India basis, thereby bringing relief to common people and industry.

The Federation also informed that in its initial findings of its ongoing survey of wheat crop for the upcoming season the area under the wheat cultivation is approx 343.23 lakh hectares and despite early onset of Summer, a record harvest between 106-110 million tonnes is expected. The record production in tandem with cooling off prices of wheat will enable the Government to procure targeted 340 lakh tonnes of wheat. 

Owing to various measures of the Government, Wheat and Wheat Flour (Atta) prices have fallen by ₹6-8 per kg in the wholesale as well as retail markets in the last two months. According to Roller Flour Millers’ Federation, Atta prices are currently hovering around ₹2,600-3,000 per quital vis-a-vis ₹3,400-₹3,800 per quintal in the mid of January 2023.

Due to lesser domestic availability of wheat in the market, domestic prices of wheat went up to ₹3,200-3,600 a quintal in January before the Government announced offloading of 50 lakh tonnes in the open market to arrest the rising prices.

It is pertinent to mention that Government started off-loading wheat in the open market from January 26, which has cooled down prices of wheat and wheat products providing relief to consumers and flour millers.

“Following wider consultations, the Government of India allowed the Food Corporation of India (FCI) to offload 50 MT of wheat from the central pool stock, despite marginal stocks in their hands, in the market to cool down the soaring wheat and atta prices. Centre’s timely intervention has not only provided relief to poor, lower and middle classes but even to wide range of industries including bread & biscuit,” said Pramod Kumar S, President, Roller Flour Millers’ Federation of India while addressing the press in New Delhi.

“Presently, the rate of wheat has come down to ₹23-24 per kg in the whole sale market in states where in the wheat from central pool has been offloaded as per demand, whereas the prices are ₹24-25/kg in states where in the process of offloading is going. Had it not been for the timely intervention of GoI, the prices would have reached to ₹40-45/kg. We commend government’s timely intervention and working with government to lessen the burden of price rise on common man. We are fully supporting government’s objective by passing on the price cut,” said Navneet Chitlangia, Senior Vice President of the Federation.

About 32-33 lakh tonnes of wheat has already been offloaded in the market by the FCI through E-auction process that commenced towards end of January this year.

“Our members have already passed on price cut and as a result the prices are already down by ₹6-8 per kg in whole sale market. While our neighbouring country is reeling under intense inflationary conditions, the Indian government under the visionary leadership of Hon’ble Prime Minister Narendra Modi has clearly defied the global inflationary pressures by keeping ears to the ground,” said Dharmendra Jain, Vice President of the Federation.

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