New Delhi: The Food Ministry is planning to sell additional 5 million tonne wheat in the open market to bulk consumers like flour millers and biscuit makers in a bid to check rising prices and offloading the surplus stock.

"We are planning to release another 5 million tonnes of wheat to bulk consumers under the open market sale scheme (OMSS)," Food Minister K V Thomas told reporters here.

In June, the government had allocated sale of 3 million tonne wheat from its godowns under the OMSS to ease storage pressure during the monsoon season.

If the proposal to sell additional 5 million tonne is approved by the government then the total quantity of wheat to be sold would reach 8 million tonne in this fiscal.

So far, the government has released about 1.3 million tonne wheat since mid-July, with another 1 million tonne to be released in this month.

Food Corporation of India (FCI), the government's nodal procurement agency, sold wheat initially at a floor price of Rs 1,170 per quintal under OMSS through a tender process. The base price was hiked to Rs 1,285 a quintal in August.

The government's move to release wheat under OMSS has helped in checking the rising wheat prices that are in the range of Rs 15.50-22 per kg in the wholesale market as against Rs 16.25-23 per kg last month.

India harvested a bumper wheat crop of 93.90 million tonne in the 2011-12 crop year (July-June) with government procurement hitting a record 38.1 million tonne.

The stocks of wheat in the central pool stood at 46.16 million tonne at the end of August 2012.

(Agencies)

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