Government sells wheat and rice through e-auction to control prices


New Delhi: The central government has taken steps to control the rising prices of wheat and rice, which are staple food items for millions of Indians. The prices of these commodities have been increasing due to various factors, such as high demand, low production, inflation, and supply chain disruptions.

To increase the domestic supply and curb the retail prices, the government has decided to sell wheat and rice from its buffer stock under the Open Market Sale Scheme (OMSS). This scheme allows the government to sell food grains to bulk consumers, such as millers, traders, and state governments, through an online bidding process.

The nodal agency for implementing this scheme is the Food Corporation of India (FCI), which procures and distributes food grains across the country. The FCI has been conducting weekly e-auctions of wheat and rice since September 2023.

According to a government statement, the 26th e-auction was held on December 20, 2023, in which 4 lakh tonnes of wheat and 1.93 lakh tonnes of rice were offered for sale. Out of these, 3.46 lakh tonnes of wheat and 13,164 tonnes of rice were sold at a weighted average of Rs 2,178.24 per quintal and Rs 2905.40 per quintal, respectively.

The statement said that the sale of rice under OMSS (Domestic) has increased from 3,300 tonnes in the previous e-auction to 13,164 tonnes in the current one. This indicates that the government’s measure is having a positive impact on the market.


The government has allocated 101.5 lakh tonnes of wheat for OMSS till March 2024 and is ready to offload an additional 25 lakh tonnes of FCI wheat to bulk consumers during January-March, 2024, if required.

Earlier this month, Food Secretary Sanjeev Chopra said that the government is monitoring the situation closely and will take all necessary steps to ensure food security and price stability. He had also urged the state governments to cooperate with the center and take advantage of the OMSS scheme.