With the prices of wheat and flour rising sharply over the past few months, the Delhi Government’s scheme to sell reasonably priced fortified wheat flour at Rs.139 for a 10-kg bag has proved a great success with over 65,000 bags being sold every day now. In all, over 12 lakh bags have been sold till date, Delhi Food and Civil Supplies Minister Haroon Yusuf announced on Thursday.
The Minister said that apart from the price difference, what has added to the high sales was the increase in its reach brought about by the addition of 198 new sale points. With this the flour is now being sold through 335 outlets.
Three new outlets
Apart from the 84 outlets of Kendriya Bhandar, the fortified flour is being sold through 40 circle offices of the State Food and Civil Supplies Department and 13 outlets of the National Consumer Cooperative Federation.
Mr. Yusuf said three new outlets have been opened in each of the Delhi Assembly segments in consultation with the local MLAs so that people across the Capital can avail of the scheme. The scheme is important as the price of flour in the open market has crossed Rs.20 per kg and people save a lot of money by buying this fortified flour sold by the Delhi Government at just Rs.13.90 per kg.
“Even I am using this flour and it is of high quality with the right amount of fibre in it,’’ he said.
More flour extracted from wheat
The Minister said it was the manner in which the scheme had been planned and executed that has led to its success. “When Maharashtra Minister Anil Deshmukh visited us a week ago, he was surprised how we had managed to launch and continue with this scheme. We told him that as against the norm of getting 87 kg of flour out of 100 kg of wheat, in Delhi 92 kg of flour was being obtained and the remaining eight kg of bran was also being sold. That is why the cost is down.’’
Under the scheme launched on November 19, the Government had taken to manufacturing and selling flour with the help of the Roller Flour Mills’ Association. As of now the wheat is being ground at about 15 mills in Delhi.
The Minister said while 80,481 metric tonnes of wheat has been allocated by the Union Food and Public Distribution Ministry for the Capital at Rs.1,080 per quintal (100 kg), the landing cost in Delhi after inclusion of transportation charges from Ludhiana works out to Rs.1,113.47 per quintal.
As for the quality, Mr. Yusuf said the flour conforms to specifications laid down under the PFA Act, 1954. It is also being fortified with iron and folic acid before being packaged. “We have also constituted separate teams under the Weights and Measures Department, areas Sub-Divisional Magistrates and deputed our department officials to keep a tab on the quality and quantity of the flour being sold,’’ he added.