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Govt to launch 'Bharat rice' at subsidised rate to provide relief to consumers | Check rates here

The Food Corporation of India will provide 5 lakh tonne of rice to two cooperatives the National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation of India Ltd and National Cooperative Consumers' Federation of India as well as retail chain Kendriya Bhandar in the first phase.

Edited By: Anurag Roushan @Candid_Tilaiyan New Delhi Updated on: February 05, 2024 23:25 IST
Bharat rice, subsidised rice, Piyush Goyal
Image Source : FILE The image has been used for representative purposes only.

The central government on Tuesday is set to introduce 'Bharat rice' at a subsidised rate of Rs 29 per kg, aiming to alleviate the impact of a 15 per cent surge in retail rice prices over the past year. The discounted rice will be made available in 5 kg and 10 kg packs. Union Food Minister Piyush Goyal is slated to launch Bharat rice at Kartavya Path in the national capital, an official release stated.

5 tonnes of rice in first phase

In the initial phase, the Food Corporation of India (FCI) will allocate 5 lakh tonnes of rice to two cooperatives, namely the National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation of India Ltd (NAFED) and the National Cooperative Consumers' Federation of India (NCCF), along with the retail chain Kendriya Bhandar.

This initiative is aimed at addressing the rising prices of rice and ensuring accessibility to affordable food options for the public. These agencies will further pack the rice in 5 kg and 10 kg and retail through their outlets under the "Bharat" brand. The rice will also be sold through e-commerce platforms.

The government has resorted to retail sale of FCI rice after it received a lukewarm response for sale of rice to bulk users at the same rate through the Open Market Sale Scheme (OMSS).

'Bharat rice' after 'Bharat atta'

The government hopes to get good a response for "Bharat rice" too, like it has been receiving it for "Bharat atta", which is being sold at Rs 27.50 per kg and "Bharat chana" at Rs 60 per kg through the same agencies.

Retail prices have still not come under control despite restrictions on exports and bumper production in 2023-24. The government has asked retailers, wholesalers, processors, and big retail chains to disclose their stocks to check hoarding.

Experts said at a time the government provides free FCI rice to 80 crore poor ration card holders, the high inflation cannot be in FCI rice because the FCI has a huge stock and sells the grain via OMSS. Therefore, the inflation is probably coming from non-FCI varieties of rice which is less consumed by the poor and does not give the right picture about inflationary trends.

(With PTI inputs)

ALSO READ: Black vs Brown rice: Which is the healthiest option?

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