OPEN MARKET SALE SCHEME (Syllabus: GS Paper 3 - Agriculture)

News-CRUX-10     10th August 2023        
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Context: The government will sell 5 million tonnes of wheat and 2.5 mt of rice from its stocks in the open market, a move aimed at stabilising prices. 

  • This is in addition to the sale of 1.5 mt of wheat and 0.5 mt of rice announced a few months ago under the open market sale scheme (OMSS).

Open Market Sale Scheme

  • About: It refers to selling of foodgrains by Government / Government agencies at predetermined prices in the open market from time to time.
  • Objectives: It aims to enhance the supply of grains especially during the lean season and thereby to moderate the general open market prices especially in the deficit regions.
  • Nodal Ministry: Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution.
  • Features: In addition to maintaining buffer stocks and making a provision for meeting the requirement of the Targeted Public Distribution Scheme and Other Welfare Schemes (OWS), Food Corporation of India (FCI) on the instructions from the Government, sells wheat and rice in the open market from time to time.
    • The FCI conducts a weekly auction to conduct this scheme in the open market using the platform of commodity exchange NCDEX (National Commodity and Derivatives Exchange Limited).
    • The State Governments/ Union Territory Administrations are also allowed to participate in the e-auction, if they require wheat and rice outside TPDS and OWS.
  • e- Auction: For transparency in operations, the FCI has switched over to e- auction for sale under Open Market Sale Scheme (Domestic).
  • 3 schemes: The present form of OMSS comprises 3 schemes as under:
    • Sale of wheat to bulk consumers/private traders through e-auction.
    • Sale of wheat to bulk consumers/private traders through e-auction by dedicated movement.
    • Sale of Raw Rice Grade ‘A’ to bulk consumers/private traders through e-auction.
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