The government on Monday imposed stock limits on wheat for the ongoing financial year 2024-25 to prevent hoarding as well as unscrupulous speculation and to manage overall food security.

“Government of India has decided to impose stock limits on Wheat applicable to Traders/Wholesaler, Retailers, Big Chain Retailers and Processors for all States and Union Territories,” says the ministry of consumer affairs, food and public distribution.

The removal of licensing requirements, stock limits and movement restrictions on Specified Foodstuffs (Amendment) Order, 2024 has been issued with immediate effect from June 24, 2024 and will be applicable until March 31, 2025 for all states and union territories.

“Stock limits will be applicable to each entity individually such as traders/wholesaler- 3000 MT; Retailer- 10 MT for each of the Retail outlets; Big Chain Retailer- 10 MT for each outlet and 3000 MT at all their depots and Processors - 70% of Monthly Installed Capacity (MIC) multiplied by remaining months of FY 2024-25,” the consumer affairs ministry says.

Respective legal entities, as above, will have to declare the stock position and update them regularly on the portal of the Department of Food and Public Distribution and in case the stock held by them are higher than the prescribed limit then they have to bring the same to the prescribed stock limits within 30 days of issue of this notification, it says.

This comes days after the ministry said sufficient wheat stock is available to undertake market interventions. A meeting of the Committee of Ministers was held on June 20 under chairmanship of Union Minister of Home Affairs and Cooperation to review the prices of essential commodities.

The position of wheat stocks and prices was taken up for detailed discussion. Around 266 lakh metric tonnes of wheat has been procured till June 18, 2024 in rabi marketing season 2024, against a procurement of 262 LMT in RMS 2023. After meeting the requirement for PDS and other Welfare Schemes, which is approximately 184 LMT, sufficient stock of wheat is available to undertake market interventions, as and when required. The Union Minister directed that a close watch may be kept on the prices of wheat and suitable policy interventions to be undertaken to ensure price stability for the consumers of the country.

Fortune India earlier reported that despite a record harvest of 112.5 million metric tonnes (MMT), India may end up importing about two MMT of wheat in 2024-25, forecasts researchers associated with the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)’s foreign agricultural service (FAS) division.

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