After a sharp 34% increase in wheat procurement in the ongoing rabi marketing season (2017-18) to 30.8 million tonne compared to last year, the Food Corporation of India (FCI) has commenced its Open Market Sale Scheme (OMSS) for bulk buyers like food companies and flour millers in non-procuring states which excludes Punjab, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and Maharashtra.
As the wheat procurement season (April-June) for the current year comes to an end, the corporation would launch OMSS in key procuring states such Punjab, Haryana and Madhya Pradesh from next month onwards.
Under OMSS, FCI releases wheat and rice to bulk buyers from time to time for increasing domestic supplies during a lean period, which keeps the prices under check. Although under OMSS bulk buyers participate in weekly auction to buy wheat, FCI still incurs a subsidy as economic cost of procuring and storing wheat is Rs 2408.67 per quintal for the current fiscal.
In 2015-16, FCI could sell more than 7.7 MT of wheat under OMSS to bulk buyers while in the last fiscal more than 4.6 MT had been sold. However, in case of OMSS (rice), the corporation could sell only a small quantity of grain to bulk purchasers from its excess stocks in FY17.