However, during the last many
years when the country had bumper harvests of wheat year after
year and our warehouses were not able adequately store the millions
of tonnes of wheat procured during two crops each year, resulting
in more than 15 to 20% of the stocks getting lost, due to damage,
pilferage, age, rodents and lack of scientific storage space.
While the Govt attempted to allocate higher quantities through
PDS particularly for the BPL population, the excess stock of millions
of tonnes of wheat remained in the warehouses. It is, however,
a paradox that all these years, prices of wheat flour have been
Ironically when our Federation
suggested in 2000 that wheat should be productively used by industry
like Biscuit, Bread, Bakery products etc, and for that matter,
special allocation he made to such wheat consuming Industries,
the Govt (Ministry of Food & PDS) was not inclined to accede
to our plea. h is however, gratifying that the Ministry of FPI
has recognized the genuineness of the plea of the Biscuit industry.
particularly when the FCI, was allotting subsidized wheat to Millers-exporters
for export of wheat and wheat products i.e. Flour, Atta Sooji/Rava
etc. The food product industry represented by FBMI and the An
India Bread Manufactures' Association (AIBMA) have recently submitted
comprehensive Notes to the Ministry of Food Processing Industries,
GOI dwelling in detail on the mechanism of screening, scrutinizing
and allotting wheat to the biscuit and bread manufacturers in
the organized sector with a view to enable them to achieve better
utilization of installed capacities, generate wore employment
by increased production of these food products which are mainly
consumed by common man FBMI has also offered to act as nodal agency
to screen the requirements of wheat by biscuit units, based on
certain criteria relating production, sales etc and to take further
steps to ensure proper utilization.
The crop harvest of 2002-03 is 70.10
million tonnes as compared to 71.81 million tonnes in the previous
year. The fall in production took place mainly in Rajasthan, MP
and parts of UP. However, as production in the two main States
of Punjab and Haryana has not dipped, lower production will not
translate into lower purchase by FCI and State Agencies. As on
April 2002, FCI was holding stock of 16.00 million tonnes as compared
to 20 million tonnes last year. Procurement during 2003 is estimated
at 190.25 lakh tonnes, compared to 206.30 lakh tonnes during last
season, by FCI and other State Agencies. Govt. of India raised
the Minimum Support Price for wheat from Rs 620/- to Rs 630/-
per qtl. The procurement by private sector in Punjab and Haryana
has been lacking enthusiasm, mainly due to high incidence of Mandi
Taxes and levies totaling about 10% of purchase price imposed
whereas private procurement has been more active in UP, MP and
Rajasthan where Mandi Taxes etc are rather low. On the other hand,
OMSS Price of wheat announced by FCI w.e.f. 1st July 2002, was
as below :-
North Zone : Rs 685/- per qtl.
South Zone : Rs 742/- per qtl.
West Zone : Rs 733/- per qtl.
East Zone : Rs 734/- per qtl.
Wheat prices in the Mandi at the
time of Report, is @ Rs 675/- to Rs 680/- per qtl. Wheat flour
prices have been swinging up and down as on 30 April 2003, wheat
flour is selling @ Rs 685/- to Rs 695/- per 90 kg gross (ex-Mill).
However, media reports indicate that FCI has suspended OMSS for
May & June 2003.
The periodic fluctuations and hike
in flour prices as also increase in exports of atta, maida, suji
etc during the year 2002 adversely impacted biscuit units insofar
as availability and prices of flour were concerned FBMI inter
acted with the Ministry of Food, Consumers Affairs & PDS,
Govt. of India, as well as with the Ministry of Food Processing
Industries and urged that Government to restrict exports of wheat
products, release adequate quantity of wheat in the OMSS and also
evolve special direct allotment of wheat to biscuit manufacturers
at subsidized prices. The President, FBMI, attended and interactive
session with Shri R D Kapoor, Secretary, Ministry of Food &
PDS, on 17th July 2002 on wheat and wheat products, during which
the Association reiterated our plea for subsidized allotment of
wheat to biscuit industry at prices fixed for allotment for exports
of wheat products.
India maintained its position as
the largest producer and consumer of Sugar in the world. During
the year 2001-02, the total output was 185.80 lakh tonnes (compared
to 180.98 lakh tonnes in 2000-01). As a result, the Government
decontrolled Sugar effective from 1.4.03. The sugar mills will
be able to sell 90% of their output in the open market as the
Govt. decided to do away with 15% levy during 2002-03. The cabinet,
in February 2003, also decided to source sugar from open market,
if needed, for PDS to BPL families.
The Government has fixed the levy
sugar quota at 18%
Vanaspati (Veg. Oil)
The Union Govt. increased the incidence
of CENVAT on Vanaspati, by changing over to advalorem duty in
place of the earlier duty on percentage basis. This has resulted
in hike in prices of vegetable oil and has affected biscuit manufactures
by way of increased costs in this input. On the other hand, a
steep across-the-board increase in import duties on crude and
refined vegetable oil.
Price Hike in Wheat Flour
During the year under report, the
prices of wheat flour witnessed steep hike in various states,
mainly Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Haryana, Delhi, Kerala, Karnataka,
Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, West Bengal, Orissa, Bihar, Maharashtra,
Gujarat, etc, on account of in adequate release of wheat by the
Food Corporation of India under the Open General Sales Scheme.
The Federation had earlier requested
the Ministry of Food and PDS, Govt. of India to allot subsidized
wheat to biscuit manufacturers for the purpose of promoting exports
and production of biscuit. FBMI also submitted a Memorandum to
Shri Sharad Yadav, Hon’ble Union Minister for Food and PDS
seeking immediate action to ensure availability of adequate quantity
of wheat in the open market through FCI and also to issue orders
for special allotment of wheat to biscuit industry for the purpose
of exports, as already agreed by the Government and to extend
such allotment for encouraging domestic production of biscuit.
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