To provide relief to the common man, the government will sell ‘Bharat Rice’ in the retail market at Rs 29 per kg from next week. Also, traders have been instructed to disclose the storage of rice. The government has taken these steps as part of its efforts to control prices.
Union Food Secretary Sanjeev Chopra said in a press conference that despite restrictions on export of various varieties, retail and wholesale prices of rice have increased by about 15 percent in the last one year.
He said that to control the prices, the government has launched subsidized ‘Bharat Rice’ in the retail market through two cooperative societies, National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation of India (NAFED) and National Consumer Cooperative Federation of India (NCCF) as well as through central stores. It has been decided to sell at Rs 29 per kg.
E-commerce platforms will also sell ‘Bharat Rice’. He said that five kilogram and 10 kilogram packets of ‘Bharat Rice’ will be available from next week. Chopra said that in the first phase, the government has allocated five lakh tonnes of rice for sale in the retail market. The government is already selling ‘Bharat Atta’ at Rs 27.50 per kg and ‘Bharat Dal’ (gram) at Rs 60 per kg. Trying to dispel rumors spreading in the market, Chopra said that the government has no plans to lift restrictions on rice exports any time soon. The restrictions will continue until the prices come down.
Chopra said the ministry is issuing the order directing retailers, wholesalers and processors to disclose rice storage on their platform every Friday. On the question of the government setting a limit on the storage of rice, he said that “all options are open” to reduce the prices. The Secretary said that apart from rice, the prices of all essential food items are under control.