New Delhi, Feb 2: The government on Friday said it will sell ‘Bharat Rice’ in the retail market at Rs 29 per kg from next week to give relief to the common man and has directed traders to disclose rice stock, as part of its efforts to control prices.
In a press conference, Union Food Secretary Sanjeev Chopra said retail and wholesale prices of rice have increased by around 15 per cent in the last one year despite restrictions on exports of various varieties.
To control prices, he said the government has decided to sell subsidised ‘Bharat Rice’ at Rs 29 per kg in the retail market through two cooperatives the National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation of India Ltd (NAFED) and National Cooperative Consumers’ Federation of India Ltd (NCCF) as well as retail chain Kendriya Bhandar.
E-commerce platforms will also sell Bharat Rice.
He said Bharat Rice will be available in the market from next week in 5kg and 10kg packs.
In the first phase, Chopra said the government has allocated 5 lakh tonnes of rice for sale in the retail market.
The government is already selling Bharat Atta at Rs 27.50 per kg and Bharat Dal (chana) at Rs 60 per kg.
Seeking to dispel market rumours, Chopra said the government has no plans to lift restrictions on rice exports any time soon.
The restrictions will continue until prices fall, he added.
Chopra said the ministry is issuing orders, directing retailers, wholesalers and processors to disclose rice stock on its portal every Friday.
Asked whether the government will impose a stock limit on rice, he said, “all options are open” to bring down the prices.
The secretary said prices of all essential food items are under control except rice.–(PTI)