New Delhi: The government may discuss on Thursday steps to dispose wheat from FCI godowns to make room for new stock which is expected to arrive from April, Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar said.
 "The stock position is very good. In fact, there is too much stock. I think Cabinet is going to consider tomorrow ways to dispose certain wheat and make warehouses available for new crop," Pawar told reporters on the sidelines of an event.
 The Food Ministry is planning ways to vacate warehouses to accommodate new wheat crop (which expected to arrive from April onwards), he said.
The storage problem may continue this year as well as total foodgrain production is expected to be minimum 250 million tonnes.
Pawar said wheat production is expected to be close to last year's level. Current rains will boost crop prospect of wheat but might affect other crops like oilseeds, he added.
As per the official data, the Food Corporation of India (FCI) has a stock of 66.19 million tonnes of wheat and rice as on January 1, as against the actual requirement of 25 million tonnes. It has storage capacity of only 63 million tonnes.
According to sources, the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) is expected to discuss Food Ministry's proposal on lowering prices of wheat sold through the Open Market Sale Scheme (OMSS) to retail consumers.
The Centre has allowed a sale of 6 million tonnes of wheat under OMSS this fiscal. So far, a little over 3 million tonnes have been sold. The sales are down as consuming states are finding it expensive due to various local taxes.
Sources said the CCEA may consider lowering wheat prices for consuming states by Rs 2 per kg. The proposal is to fix wheat price at Rs 12.85 per kg plus ex-Ludhiana freight for consuming states and the Centre will bear local taxes.


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