The retail prices of wheat and rice increased in July to reach Rs 29.59 per kg and Rs 40.82 per kg, respectively, the Centre said during ongoing Monsoon Session of Parliament, reported PTI. Minister of State for Consumer Affairs, Food, and Public Distribution Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti in a written reply to the Lok Sabha, said the retail prices of wheat and rice are continuously changing and the government is closely monitoring the prices.
As per the data provided by the government, the average retail price of wheat in January was Rs 31.58 per kg, which decreased to Rs 28.74 per kg in May. However, it has risen again to Rs 29.59 per kg in July. Similarly, the average retail price of rice climbed to Rs 40.82 per kg in July from Rs 38.09 per kg in January.
The government has implemented several measures over time to increase the availability of essential food commodities within the country and to stabilise their prices, the minister said. Adding that these steps, inter-alia, include releases of wheat and rice under OMSS(D) from the buffer to cool down prices, imposition of wheat stock limits, monitoring of stocks declared by entities to prevent hoarding, and restrictions on exports of the commodity.
According to the PTI report, replying to a similar query, Minister of State for Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution Ashwini Kumar Choubey said the retail prices of rice, wheat, and atta have increased on a year-on-year basis by 10.5 per cent, 5.2 per cent and 8.5 per cent, respectively.
Among vegetables, the all-India average retail price of potato is about 12 per cent lower than that of last year, while the price of onion about 5 per cent higher than last year, Choubey said.
Talking about the recent spike in Tomato prices, he said the price of tomato has increased in recent weeks on account of a combination of factors like crop seasonality, white fly disease in Kolar, instantaneous arrival of monsoon rains in the northern part of the country, which adversely affected tomato crops in Haryana and Himachal Pradesh, and logistics disruptions in isolated areas due to heavy rains.
To address the current rise in tomato prices and provide consumers with affordable options, the government has taken action by initiating the procurement of tomatoes under the Price Stabilisation Fund (PSF), the minister informed.