The government day said it has invited financial bids from private traders for export of nearly one million tonnes of wheat stored in the FCI godowns in Punjab and Haryana.

Last month, the Centre had allowed export of an extra 5 million tonnes (MT) wheat of 2011—12 crop from its godowns via private trade to ease storage burden.

“Food Corporation of India (FCI) has invited the financial bids for sale of wheat of crop year 2011—12,” an official release said.

The base price of the wheat to be exported Under Open General Licence (OGL) from the Punjab and Haryana will be Rs 1,484 per quintal, it said.

The financial bids have been invited for 5,40,000 tonnes of wheat in Punjab and 4,09,826 tonnes in Haryana.

Meanwhile in a reply to the Rajya Sabha today, Food Minister K V Thomas said that FCI had invited technical bids for empanelment of private exporters.

FCI has received four technical bids for Punjab and 10 technical bids for Haryana, he said.

“The government has recently allowed sale of up to five million tonnes of wheat till June 30, 2013 from the central pool stock in Punjab and Haryana pertaining to the stock of 2011-12 through private traders for export purposes,” he said.

This channel has been opened to speed up evacuation of surplus old stock of wheat in central pool, he added.

Mr. Thomas also said there is no proposal to export rice from the central pool.

The Minister also informed that nearly 3 MT of wheat has been exported from the first two tranches of 4.5 MT allowed last year through PSUs.

“No import of wheat and rice has taken place on government account during the last two years,” he said.

As on April 1, the government had wheat stock of 24.20 MT, as against the requirement of 7 MT. In case of rice, the stock was 35.46 MT, as compared to the buffer norm of 14.2 MT.

Wheat stocks have risen in the FCI godowns due to record procurement followed by bumper crops in the last two consecutive years. Wheat output is expected to be 92.30 MT in the 2012—13 crop year (July—June).

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